10 December, 2014

Chinese, IX

the mist, sprayed
the lilies, plastic - and yet
my airport temple

my airport temple
so careful, your design
artificial, yet robust
built to withstand
the ten-thousand children;
each morning -
one by one, your dusted leaves;
each morning -
ink, paper, brush replaced;
each morning -
your mourning, for you are alone.

but wait! he comes!
entranced by waterfalls
hid behind pillars
lanterns dance as he runs by;
be happy, now
my old friend -
my airport temple

temple blessing
waiting for the ink to dry
so I might fly

1 comment:

Hobbes said...

My dear old Airport Temple. No visit to mucky, polluted, thrilling old Beijing would be the same without the 6 a.m. coffee by the (artificial) poolside, nestled between the (artificial) plants, enjoying the (artificial) mist. It sounds so utterly, woefully wrong, and yet it turns out to be so wonderfully right. There is something entirely captivating about this place; it has a noticeable and tangible "sensation" to it. I avoid use of the word QIOMGQI.

It seems that everyone else in the airport is repelled by its artificial appearance, carven as it is from the finest hand-made plastics. Yet - and yet - it has gone round the corner of naffness, and passed out the other side, into coolness.

It was a place that is, in the words of that modern-day philosopher, Theodore Ted Logan, "MOST TRANQUIL".

My poor old temple always looks lonely. I try to cheer it up for the half-hour or so that I sit by the poolside. Some kindly soul whose salary is presumably covered from funds left over from the budget of the 2008 Olympics (OMGERLINGLINGBAOMG) always leaves out fresh ink, fresh calligraphy brushes, and fresh tracing paper. My terrible calligraphy is probably the first and last that the little temple has seen all month, and so I pity it greatly.

Then, all of a sudden, I can feel the temple breathe an artificial sigh of artificial relief through its artificial, hand-formed plastics: a young boy comes to play among its pillars. The wonder in the boy's face makes it all worthwhile. Just like me, the little boy loves the temple. It is our secret - my airport temple.