Time Passing -- A Miscellany of Poems; ©Thor May 2005   index

Foreign Holiday

His sun is a torpid shadow,
Smog like warm drainwater
Clings in the city man's pores;
God, let there be change, he cries.
Any change at all.

Then he'll have a holiday, he muses,
Catch a plane
Still doubting
To some place on a map.

But the old pathways in his mind
Rutted, worn by use and worry,
Blistered with memories,
Remain like unbleached bones.

The chumwe melon man has won,
His loud-speaker truck has pulped our brains,
His acrid street voice, or has it become ours ...
Calls murder, bloody murder all tomorrows,
Grab the sale!

Yes escape, a final answer.
The city man now knows - how can he stay -
A rat in someone else's home,
Choked on y
ellow grains of sand from China,
Airless heat and dust,
Poison particles of progress,

It is time to swap the movie script,
Write a different scene
Where smiles are true and eyes see clear
Beyond another and another line of cars,
Where tastes are crisp and sweet.

So in a foreign airport
He tries a rack of sunglasses to go,
Glares through a purple haze, or is it brown ?
Polarized, or neutral if you like,
And wonders why the pain behind his eyes
Has kept its edge.

The sun outside is florid,
Still unchanged, the air is cruel
But hope hangs on;
It cannot be
That even here the horrid cry persists -
Buy cheap! Buy now! Tomorrow all is lost!

Laugh if you dare.
Green is your valley,
Or is your vision milk and honey?
Have your way.
Farmer, desert nomad,
City man reskinned,
Together you will die, and very soon.

So this is it, he wails,
The whole fruit,
No better times to taste;
How come you built my brain to hope for life ?
God, I want a refund:
The chumwe melon man has won.

Thor, South Korea
summer 2005