Time Passing -- A Miscellany of Poems; ┬ęThor 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.


Zhengzhou, Central China