Macau Harbor

It lay like a protected virgin;
serenely composed in a sepia dawn,
marbled clouds playing Chinese whispers
amongst low-slung hills.

These were the days before cruise ships and casinos;
water dotted with junks and fisher folk,
no signs of demon triads
or Southern Belles molesting roulette wheels.

The day I arrived the streets were hot and choked with tourists,
I escaped to the Portugese Church in the central square
then wandered to the foreshore
to commune with ancestral breezes.

As the ferry headed back to Honkers
I dreamed about what must have been;
of quiet days and tranquil nights
before the colonizers came.

* * * * *

This poem is part of a series of works inspired by the Smithsonian Institution’s photo archive, made publicly available on Flickr. If you would like to, choose an image from their collection and create something – be it prose, poetry, audio, or visual art – inspired by it, and send it to snakeoilcure [at] gmail [dot] com.

The tedium of disbelief

The tedium of disbelief
can be eased by a drink,
or  a chicken wing
marinated in ancestral wisdom;
Plato, Aquinas, even Wordsworth!

Suddenly the fever and fret dissolve;
leaves begin to dance on fiddler’s winds,
while bees are seduced by entangling blooms
intoxicated by nectar
from sun-blessed cups.

Others seek wisdom in opiates
or prompt disciples to declare their love.

I drink deeply from this garden,
grasp tender saplings,
toast brazen roses,
lean into creative intercourse
and ascend my stairway to ecstasy.