john tiong chunghoo

(Jan 21,1960 / NEW YORK)

Omens


A single sheaf of large shrivelled
Teak leaf glided uncannily to the
Ground with a tap and continued its
Forlorn dance across the road below
A lone street lamp - right in front
Of me as I was cycling by troubled
By an upcoming undertaking.
The dropping Of a leaf as if portending some untoward
Happening coming my way, telling me
Not to go foward with what I had decided;
Nature's way of telling me to be careful,
That dangers lurked ahead; analoguous
To Caesar's wife's disturbing dreams
Of his coronation murder. I continued
The journey back home and was again
Greeted by a large black cat dashing
Across just as I was making my way to the porch.
I shivered, feeling lost for a second,
Sighed, laughed and went straight into
House with a lighter chest.

INSPIRED BY

Amidst the Flowers a Jug of Wine
------------
Amidst the flowers a jug of wine,
I pour alone lacking companionship.
So raising the cup I invite the Moon,
Then turn to my shadow which makes three of us.
Because the Moon does not know how to drink,
My shadow merely follows the movement of my body.
The moon has brought the shadow to keep me company a while,
The practice of mirth should keep pace with spring.
I start a song and the moon begins to reel,
I rise and dance and the shadow moves grotesquely.
While I'm still conscious let's rejoice with one another,
After I'm drunk let each one go his way.
Let us bind ourselves for ever for passionless journeyings.
Let us swear to meet again far in the Milky Way.

Li Po

Submitted: Thursday, March 17, 2005

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