V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics





                        The Heavenly Pagoda
hovers over the Perfume River, great
protector of dragon boats and people
ferried across the waters.

                        Moon glistens
the rippling path, the motor thrumming
its way to shore.  When it arrives
at the palace, we vest in silken robes
and hats despite the sultry heat.
                        It is a festive night,
a ten course meal, one adoptee the queen,
another, emperor, ruling above the dining
hall, surveying the friendly subjects.

                        Hundreds of years
have passed since the hall was filled
with monarchs and nobles while peasants
dined from bamboo plates, cups of tin
and spoons.

                        Yet even in huts
the people sing, musicians play on moon
lutes and zithers.  There is dining on streets
from abundance in trees and garden plots.

There is light from colorful lanterns and all               
                        the flickering candles.

© by Kay Mullen



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