Chinese New Year
always comes in February.

This is the last
of the twelve year cycle;
the Year of the Pig.

Processions, dragon dances,
fireworks and smoke,
cymbals and drums.

The Chinese close their shops,
do not sweep their houses
and pay respect
to the Ancestors.
They put a spray
of cream and purple orchids
on car radiators.
They put peacock-eye feathers
in the Spirit House of Chao Ti.

This year
a thin woman
hung up her baby
by its left ankle.
She let it bob and scream
as an entertainment.
A silver coloured bowl
collected offerings.
The string broke.
Someone caught the baby.

Muslims exploded bombs,
killed an army major,
burned Buddhist schools.

Someone stole our telephone wire.
(Copper is making a hundred baht a kilo.)

(poem from BAMBOO LEAVES)


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