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Oriole Songs (3) by Kong Shiu Loon

Oriole Songs (3)  by Kong Shiu Loon

Taking the Bus

Buses halt in front of the marked stops
Like ferocious animals sighting prey on the spot
Their huge bodies squat and scream
Their panting lungs spurt out foul steam

Toxic steams fill the air around
Spurting heat mixed with roaring sound 
Along various routes buses travel
Once in every few minutes they stop and go

Passengers must wait no matter what
They inhale the toxic air before they board
Lucky is the one who arrives just in time for his bus
Most others stand watch wait they must  

If by chance your bus takes too long to arrive
Taxis will come to give you an expensive ride
They are like darting animals looking for small prey
They leave less pollutant as they run and stop in haste 

People say the bus is more environmentally friendly
For all its polluting ills it carries passengers many
Try to stand a moment at a bus stop in the summer heat
You will be less smart when you speak


Murmuring Brook

I remember this winding green brook down from the hill
Fondly in my heart’s eye and feelings still
I used to visit and wade on it almost daily
Its fishes fruits and other foods have kept me healthy 

It runs from a spring on the rocks up hill
Through terrace fields in the valley cucumbers and beans filled
Tea plants line up the slopes watched by towering trees
Birds and bees compete for wild berries so free 

Summer or winter its crystal green water feels just right
Where tadpoles shrimps fish and water insects happily thrive
Where random rocks divert the murmurs to singing crests
Scattered pebbles their faces smoothed in ripples breasts 

The shallow flow passes places scenic and bright 
Whence the wind sweeps through berry shrubs and pines
Detached leaves of various shapes and colours fall
To accompany the playful twirls whispering intimate calls 

Happy are moments early at dawn
When I dash up the slopes to pick up fresh fruits earned
These bee-stunk persimmons are chosen for their juicy sweet taste
Thongs of ants hurry to reach them before me in a race

My footsteps alarm sleeping frogs who quickly
Leap to land in safety
The concerted sounds betray a waiting snake
Its luck gone breakfast is not yet made 

My biggest joy in any day is to catch a fish or two
To supplement vegetable dishes and rice the daily food
Gifts of Nature are plentiful and free
Whoever strives to access them will his rewards be replete 

Now I am living boxed in a space of cement and steal
With the rhythmic workings of Nature far from my view
I pine for the hills and rills their enriching spirits preside
Suffice to experience them in memory I am satisfied
 

Technology and Nature 

From up a tree I look out far onto the horizon
Between me and the distance lies a gleaming ocean
Loaming high the cloudless sky extends to infinity
As if to survey the universe for an identity 

I am at a small private beach near Montego Bay
T’is winter the neighboring cottages are not engaged
Serenity reigns when neither wind nor palm trees wave
Seaweeds washed ashore their juicy colours on white sand display 

By miracle a big white bird the majestic Concord appears
Inches above the horizon where sky and water each other cheer
It moves effortlessly flapping not once its spanning wings
Splendor at ease it flies carried by unseen winds 

In motion the silver bird merges into the sphere in pastel grey
Floating edging forward with angelic grace
In the immense undisturbed space in front of me
Like a swan glide on a mirror lake in fond memory 

My mind marvels
How metal in such huge size and weight could be
Flying like a feather light and free
Suspended on air powered only by human ingenuity 

My heart stirs
I am moved to pray
To wish the travelers a safe journey
Wherever their destination may be 

There is no question if technology can be
A part of Natural's mesmerizing beauty
In its grand constellation of forms and colours
Beauty dwells in our heart not perceptual power


Summer Rain
 

Once in summer a torrential rain poured free
I took shelter up the nearest tree
In vain my wish
Wet like a fish 

Through the leaf lattice I look out to the plain
Veiled by lacy mists evaporation from rain
Nature’s exquisite beauty serene
Calm as a ripening olive in pale green 

Out comes the sun fast as a shower
Its shine like hundreds of mirrors
Reflections on paddy fields glitter
Tender rice shoots competing to mature 

I took off my shirt to dry in the baking sun
Readying it for wear the rest of day
As I again crisscross the winding paths run
My bare feet feel the sweet pain so gay 

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