William Miller - Episcopal Priest - Poet -Author
Made In China
I am feeling somewhat Shanghaid lately
Though I don’t know exactly what that means
Like the nutritional value and molecular composition of rice,
The weightier matters continue to elude me.
Should I repent of the evil of carbohydrates?
If so, where are all the fat people in China?
Hiding in the Shaolin Temple?
In the vesting sacristy?
Under the non-fat Buddha?
And if rice, does, in fact, expand in one’s stomach, why am I still hungry?
Or is that emptiness not food-related at all,
Having to do with matters of some other internal organ?
And let’s not even mention the more spiritual substances
Such as gravy.
I’ve been there twice in the flesh.
I was amazed at the number of Phillipino maids in Hong Kong – working girls –
Looking for love in strange places on a Sunday afternoon after services at the Anglican Cathedral.
And I lost my ass at a blackjack table in Macau.
Will someone tell these people that surrender is not an appropriate betting strategy?
No wonder the “warriors” are mere terra cotta.
I’d like to heave one on my tablemates for their cowardice.
And Tibet is just not the same anymore.
Though the food is slightly improved.
Perhaps some prophetic voice can turn swords into chopsticks.
But my dreams are much broader than reality,
Than the knee space on China Southwest Airlines, which is cramped and small.
For I have scaled a great wall.
I have conquered a forbidden city.
I have discovered the sacred treasure:
The Cajun alligator pencil
The fluffy pink pen with the shiny dice protruding like antennae
The Vegas backscratcher
The wise owl doormat
All made in China
Or cheap steel.
What’s next for the brave explorer?
Look toward the east for love.
Bet against the odds.
Find more treasure.
Bring a smile to your face.
First published on the Saint Julian Press, Guest Author pages in January 2012.