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Two Poems: Sequences from Songs of Displacements photo


He who left home built the biggest steel bridge over the long river

The bridge was a success for millions of people
But he who built it died on it

His mother back in the village became blind from crying
                                     Why did you leave the mountain? 

                                     Why did you die for a bridge?


He whose feet crossed the bridge was Architect Pei
He designed a museum in Paris 
to store all the goodies stolen from his mother land
                                     Why did you build the museum?    

Visitors walked in from the street and ended underground
That palace was lined with paintings, portraits, statues, all displaced articles
Dug up from Chinese emperors’ tombs and buried again:

                                   Planters with floral cycle of longevity

                                   Time Telling Plant from the West

                                   Spring Morning in Han Palace

In one painting, the traveler plants ink flowers on silk 

            The turtle on the paper mud wakes up once in a while
            Then falls into an eternal sleep



image: Dorothy Chan