Archive | China RSS for this section

Henan Haiku V

SL377359

Henan Haiku V

Stone-faced man standing

arms crossed, counting cars all day

at U-Smile shop next door.

This marks the fifth and final in my series of Henan Haiku. These five small poems are intended to form a vignette of life on the road in Henan Province, China. The words suggested themselves on a bus trip through the industrial sprawl that is so characteristic of that countryside, as monkey faced men and apartment holes slipped by, people caught in the small details of a daily routine: dirty trees, the three-wheeling, cardboard crushing piecemeal scene.

© E. C. Richardson

Advertisements

Henan Haiku IV

SL377382

Henan Haiku IV

Man approaching bus:

Sunken cheeked wild eye monkey

man. Approaching bus.

© E. C. Richardson

Henan Haiku III

SL377262  
Old steel skeleton
Steals empty apartment hole:
The way the world lives.

SL377430

© E.C. Richardson

Henan Haiku II

SL377396

Henan Haiku II

Bumper to bumper,

Cardboard-crushing three-wheeled

China churns and thrills.

© E. C. Richardson

Henan Haiku

SL377462

Henan Haiku I

Above dirty trees

A satellite dish on a

Window shell sings pleas.

© E. C. Richardson

A Kaifeng Chrysanthemum Special

Say this city has ten million souls,

Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes…

— W.H. Auden

Some of the holes look less than live-able.

Some of the holes look less than live-able.

Auden may well have been describing Kaifeng with those words: a small city of some 10 million souls, east-central Henan Province, Yellow River country, P.R. C. One of seven ancient cities, once among the capitals of China, Kaifeng has its fair share of holes, of brokenness and poverty but also much of brightness and beauty. The provincial flower is the “ju gwaa” or Chrysanthemum, a flower native to Asia.

Up close and colourful with a Kaifeng chrysanthemum!

Up close and colourful with a Kaifeng chrysanthemum!

The annual Chrysanthemum Festival is one noticeable brightening of the yearly calendar. The streets are decked out with blooms of pink, yellow, purple and red. The businesses put out their potted specimens for display, and the city parks hold celebrations of floral cheer. There is much liveliness; less of the glum grey blocks and smoggy, sloping skies.

Jumbo the ju gwaa elephant presides over this garden.
Jumbo the ju gwaa elephant presides over this garden.
Chrysanthemum colour house.

Chrysanthemum colour house.

Weavers of the chrysanthemum structural framing at work.

Weavers of the chrysanthemum structural framing at work.