Wednesday 17 January 2007


This is a poem written for Michael Ryan who enabled me to travel to China last year, on a wonderful trip; this is the poem of New and Old China, centred around the city of Huangzhu and the West Lake (pictured here, the Buddhas on Peak-Flying-From-Afar, West Lake, Huangzhu)


For Michael Ryan

On distant peaks, Pagodas smile with upturned roof
As we traverse polished stairways in descent
From lofty Imperial heights,
To Californian China, of neon lights -
I have two Chinas in my mind.

One, dreaming hills in morning mist and dragons’ heads;
Temple bells and prayers of incense
Pious spirals make
Above the merchant city on the lake.
Hangzhou of silk and fragrant teas.

The other, stern blocks of light and coloured glass;
Red martyrs side by side with western fare;
And traffic does not cease
Its attempts to shatter West Lake’s mirrored peace
But fades like echoes on its shores.

Hangzhou, city of so many souls.
Rich and poor, life and death; entwined
In endless fight
New and old: both seemed poised for flight -
I have two Chinas in my mind

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne
October 20th 2006 Hangzhou, China

I do occasionally foray into short stories but with what can be best described as indifferent success. I must post one or two...eventually...when I find them (not the best for saving and labelling things on the computor, I'm afraid!)


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