Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Flow of Thoughts: At my student's home

1.  Loner 
I struggle!

a conflict between
my desire
for solitude
the known
health benefits
of being social
and having friends

For when I spend
too many hours
in happy isolation
my thoughts
betray me
drowning into
worry and anxiety
when I am
surrounded all day
by people whose
language I only
understand 5% of
my heart is somehow
at peace
even as I sit
here writing
alone in bed
before lights out.

2.  Spring Festival
In a deserted countryside
factory town
where rain keeps
the fish ponds full,
the banana groves green,
and puddles expanding in the streets,
I spend my time in a row
of cold concrete rooms
each with a door opening into the rain,
a row of sheds next to
a cardboard box factory
empty of workers
on holiday.

A business family
follows their youngest son
who before completing high school
ran from Gansu to the
province of opportunity

A 50 year old father
with dreams of giving
his son
a rich future
lives with
the bare necessities of life
devoid of luxury,
lives in their factory.

In Chengdu,
visiting the home
of a newly married 27 year old teacher
in a newly bought flat
filled with
huge flat screen TVs,
Ikea furniture mixed with
lavish fairytale castle extravagance
a lush show of money
economic prosperity,
it is easy to forget that not
everyone lives that way.

Even a factory owner in the
rumored golden land of Guangzhou
owns only
an old beat up used car,
a tiny TV,
lives in one room with his whole family
a cold concrete floor
devoid of privacy
with a queen sized bed for the parents
and bunks for his son and daughter.
This one room opens into a warehouse
filled with stacks of metal racks
burner grates for gas stoves.

These small factories
are dying becoming
replaced by
newer, bigger, hi-tech monsters.

Families visit each other
drinking tea and eating seeds
of all colors
white, green, black, brown.

Mothers prepare at least 3-5 banquets
to feed 10-20 guests at each sitting.
The dishes are meat heavy.
The prosperity of China
is heard with the laughter
mingled with the clacking of Mahjong and chess
pop, pop, pop
attacks of red dynamite
bursting into sporadic explosions.
The prosperity of China
is measured by the
duly noted amount of leftovers
just enough to reveal that the food
was delicious but also too much.
TV is ignored.
Past grievances are put aside for
harmony's sake.
Gifts are given.
Baijiu is drank.
Troubles are forgotten
for at least a few days.
Zhong Shan 1 hour outside of Guangzhou- January 23, 2012

1 comment:

universalibrarian said...

Pretty and I think you captured the feeling :) I've felt some of the same things.