john tiong chunghoo
January - Poem by john tiong chunghoo
the tinkle of porcelain spoons
clink of glasses
and click of chopsticks
turn over december to january
the old year
just a few minutes ago
a flash of the meteor
gone and lost
in another part of the mind
now all alighted with
the new year, new plans
new wishes and hopes
the new child
brings fresh hope and joy
all of a sudden all the attention
is focussed on the new days
the old year slowly, slowly,
just another memory
a dead relativel
Only one cell in the frozen hive of night
is lit, or so it seems to us:
this Vietnamese café, with its oily light,
its odors whose colorful shapes are like flowers.
Laughter and talking, the tick of chopsticks.
Beyond the glass, the wintry city
creaks like an ancient wooden bridge.
A great wind rushes under all of us.
The bigger the window, the more it trembles.
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