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Vietnamese Dragons

uploaded: Wed, Aug 31, 2016 @ 6:16 AM last modified: Wed, Aug 31, 2016 @ 6:17 AM  (add)
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Another Tobias Weber tune I couldn’t resist. Seems to be made for this poem! The violin even resembles the single-stringed Đàn Bầu we heard in Hanoi. Thanks Tobias.

Vietnamese dragons

I dream of dragons, smooth and scaled,
all kinds of dragons from welsh myth to Puff. And when I awake
in the hotel room in Huế there is the dragon fruit centimeters
from my face in the bowl of tropical fruit, a gift from hotel staff
when we arrived yesterday.

today we walk to the Purple Forbidden City, see dragons
painted on the roof, as statues, on walls, etched on enormous
ancient bronze urns and we spend the whole day wandering
the deserted site carrying the backpack with the fruit in a plastic

at lunchtime we climb the stone tower and sit cross-legged with our backs
against a giant bronze bell and cut the dragon fruit into halves.
What a fantastic thing. A fruit designed by a committee,
the colours of a watermelon turned inside out, the centre like
poppy-seed flecked icecream.

like that pink 70s Hare Krishna candle we kept at the shack
for power failures, intricate as an Indian temple in jelabi colours,
sliced and twirled, and every heatwave it softened
& leaned a little more one way, a subcontinental
Tower of Pisa.

we eat it to the rind
leaving pink stripes in the white
with our bottom front teeth, looking down
on the moat in this land
of dragons

(from Original Clichés, Ginninderra Press, 2016.
text © rob walker)

"Vietnamese Dragons"
by robwalkerpoet

2016 - Licensed under
Creative Commons
Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)

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