It’s Not What it Seems – China

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White winking Buddhas.

A vegetarian dinner of fish, eel,

chicken, and pork.

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The Clan of the Cultural Revolution:

portraits in red, pink, and black.

Cloudlike rocks riddled with holes.

Straight-cut stones hiding the view.

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Flaming Sun Day, Feet, Comfortable City,

Flexology: Foot and Body Massage.

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The Temple of Marvelous Mystery.

Scholars revealing a little at a time.

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Bitter melon, minced snails,

fresh young ginger with duck.

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A very auspicious number like five.

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Yin-yang, push, pull.

Holiday Spending Zone.

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Cicadas make the woods more silent.

Birds make the valleys deeper.

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Neon palm trees: electric yellow and green.

Two thin bamboo rafts floating silently down the Li.

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Rainy summer night.

A street-cleaning truck playing

“We Wish You Merry Christmas.”

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Warrior Challenges His Friend – Beijing, China

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Click on image to enlarge

 

Peking Opera School

The warrior challenges his friend:

sticks for swords, young bodies swoop and lunge.

Play boots stomp on a pink Oriental rug.

Boys in workout gear,

black beards hooked over their ears

posture, eyebrows furrowed.

Teenaged girls are frivolous females,

fingers pointing, eyes dancing, white sheets

swirling.

Buoyant and tumbling, the loyal monkey

arranges himself on a lacquered stool,

his face clown white.

Fierce eyes, quick gestures,

gongs, drums and clappers

of hardwood and bamboo;

two men somersault,

a fight in the night.

 

Small as the stage is,

a few steps bring you far

beyond heaven.

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