Monday, 12 May 2014

Poetry † 朧気歴程 Misty Passage

Sorry for the filler! Like many gothy artsy types, I love to write (and draw and what have you). The following is a series of haibun 俳文 (a mix of haiku and verse) I wrote for a competition (I got commended, yay!) It's about Hong Kong, which is probably my favourite city in the world.

Yes, this is a Japanese style poem about China. Hm.

***

初めに闇がある, 結局に闇がある, すべての 旅路. 夢で, 至るときには押しとどめるじゃない. 日没から日の岀 まで, 約束の君の謎が引張る,静粛な天壇大佛の霧の祈りが, 大澳の古い 石が聞きつける. それがじゃないでももうすぐ

香水
市竹足立つ
古夜鷺


翼を広げる私が追随.

It begins in darkness and ends in darkness, every journey. It is a dream, of ever-roaming, never ceasing, even when I reach your shores. Pulled through the night by a promise of your mystery, hearing already the misty prayers of the silent Lantau Buddha, the quiet whisper of grey water against the old stones of Tai O. I am not there yet, but soon,

on fragrant water
city rises on bamboo legs
an ancient night-heron


it stretches its wings and I must follow.


Fly with me now. We find our way by reading the constellations of lights below and forgetting those stars above. Through the cold and dry travel, skipped like a stone over the surface of an ocean of white cloud.
And then, all becomes clear:

gazing through water
a city sunken below
the air of Asia

I see Hong Kong glitter beneath the cloud's surface. I have arrived, but where? There are no ends, only beginnings of misty passages.  


Have I truly arrived? Each day is movement: a network of trains, like a nest of dragons, whirl me from Hong Kong to Sha Tin to the Peak, until I do not remember if I am poet or butterfly or dreaming as harbour fades to fields of sand to victory's mountain. I wake in the markets

the turtle struggles
legs bound tight, eyes jewelled with tears
below are twelve more

Did I wake to a nightmare? A bowl of soup, of noodles and swallows' clouds blows the bad dreams away, and the yin and yang of a cup of tea and coffee warms me. Steam rises like mist from the surface, and I see it, bamboo forests and the giant Buddha. Then I remember to breathe and they are blown away into the living night.


And as the days wind back and the summer heat fades, I feel I am leaving these hidden paths. The days become shorter, the nights colder; I want my cola warm with ginger, not cold and floating lemon. Through the mist I can glimpse familiar sights:

the jacaranda
has spread a purple carpet
for my arrival
I know it will be there when I leave these skyscraper mountains for the hills of home. And yet... I wish to remain lost in Hong Kong fog forever.


When drawn by hand, a circle has a beginning.

This set of travels ends where it began: at a window seat, watching constellations change and shrink in the night sky below metal wings.
And yet the mist refuses to part: Am I going home? Or leaving? Was there ever a beginning? An end? Or have I wandered through the fog for an eternity, only dreaming of these imaginary concepts, 'dawn' and 'dusk'?

By the roadside now
four walls and a simple roof
look familiar
May I call it home?  

Unfortunately this is actually Beijing, but it's too beautiful a picture to pass up on.

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