Time Passing -- A Miscellany of Poems; ©Thor May 20082005 index
Stranger in Paradise
The fingers of ghosts are shaking dust from tired trees,
Thin shadows of winter afternoons flutter like rags
Of surrender, cannot cover the bones of old concrete,
Cannot hide my heart of fear.
For no one loves you here: a bleak breath of ancient kings
Wrestles with acid fumes; the dark throat of rail tunnels
Gorges on shrill promises of China's coming glory;
The beggar spreads his mat, and no one cries.
But wait, the beggar smiles, enraptured by a dream:
This place, its voices written red in tangled tongues
On the factory wall, sings to his soul, he says,
And I am a fool, a foreigner in winter's paradise.