Umbrella Revolution Wall 2014

Umbrella Revolution Wall 2014
Admiralty, Umbrella Revolution 2014

Monday, March 10, 2014

Spiders of Pui O

March 6, 2014

For Stephen 

Spiders of Pui O

Spiders slice trees.
Their nests thread the sky
snare the wandering and weak,
the timid and bold.
Cradles and cribs of candy floss
traps sick and sweet
Limbs spin captives into bundles.
Death awaits the darling papoose
dazed before the bloodsucking.
Drugged courtesy of the kindly gods
small mercies for the chosen
It’s painless for the pupae snack.
Great dreams pepper and pierce the quick
such timeless horror compels our eyes
the ragged beauty, the bitter end
repeating, repeating
repeating.

*                  *                  *

We perambulate along a trash-lined beach
in tidy twos and threes
awed by arachnids
snowflake unique in tropical heat.
Nose hairs stand: damp earth, green frenzy,
diesel wisps, manure and rotten fruit.
Swaying aloft: gunmetal black silhouettes of eight legs.
Shell segments of arthropod paint blots
Expressionist drips that stain blue-brown skies.
The web lairs are museum frames
myths of elegance hush voices;
the grace of natural order presses our hearts.
I touch my hair
fear an accidental drop atop my head—
a shriek and shampoo shake, but no,
the spiders stretch limbs, dance center stage
perform prayers with bent legs, kill and feast.
Life is death and I am free to walk.

*                  *                  *

Day after day I watch him shuttle in and out
to a million clicks
there throngs comb money threads
and weave digital blankets.
All faithful rise to the loom of blanks and buzzes.
Beat. The. Clock.
Creatures drop from high to low
silk unfurls, money clings to shoes, lies encircle ankles.
En masse they descend.
Insects. (Jackals? Hyenas?)
A plague of carrion feeders scurrying to bite.
Nibbling toenails.
Licking ripe tendons.
Curves and grooves march into forehead lines.
Teeth chip, a liver collapses.
Such worry strokes the heart.
Such wounds sweeten the flesh.
Watch them feed.
Death: spider dust, smashed carapaces ground
to a fine powder.
Beauty is consumption.
Progeny parachutes and scatters
nothing remains.
They leave.
Witness the snail curl of fetal defense,
The trap terrifies.
I watch him disappear.

*                  *                  *

We diminish through reproduction
a child has withered my body
and hastened my small inevitable death.
Joys are cornered memories:
How a line drops into an octagon and harnesses the sun.
How we grow and kill.
How we admire the beauty of perfect prey.
Time’s axis neither stops nor trusts its paradoxical pivot.
And so, I look up, witness the spiders
vow to leave this tree-lined hell.
This sorry nest will not be my end.
This dirt and sea, these waves and clumps of trees.
I refuse.
I refuse.
A tiny stone has bloodied my sole.
I pull it out. Rise. Deliberate.
Ever slow.
Vow revenge.
Forced to reckon, I vomit pity to the ground.
Ready to ravage the innocent.
Open my mouth to the sky.
Let me eat.
Tiny screams deafen my steady heart.
I chew and gnash, steady the twitch of my upper lip
spit legs from my mouth.
ignore the begging of the weak.
This too shall pass.
This too shall pass.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Dodging the Dissertation

Yeah, it's a short break from the above. February was a big visitor month. No one visits for the longest time and then wow--everyone at once. Stephen's Dad and his dad's partner, Angela. My cousin Annette from the Bay. Then Mom and Dad. Running a hotel here.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Eating in HK or How I am Personally Wreaking Havoc on the Environment

Thinking about the environmental impact of my diet. Here in HK where the food and water supply may be questionable due to China's environmental practices, we do eat quite a few imports. And we eat far less than the average expat given we also eat quite a lot of Asian food. Today was a Western food sort of day though--- The airmiles alone have probably killed half the planet..this is typical, I think. So far today: Breaky: AM Coffee (Guatemala;organic;fair trade) with water (filtered--but local HK) OJ (US import Florida) Oatmeal (US import/milk Australia) Toast (locally made French, can't ascertain flour origins); marmalade UK import Eggs (local from some guy in the wet market who has a cousin in the New Territories. Great eggs. The ones in the supermarket suck, imports or not. School bake sale: Blueberry scone (no blueberries in HK); Chicken asparagus thing (no asparagus either; chicken yes, I'm alive, no flu, it's okay). Raisins (US). Origin of most ingredients impossible to ascertain. Latte: small local milk? hard to say, no local dairies, so over the border, I'm alive and hope it is not plastic; beans (kenya) Lemonade: not local. My guess UK import Kid school lunch: local eggs with imported French and UK mustard; US mayonnaise; French bread (made locally); South African orange; banana South America; HK water filtered; napkin--cloth--wow, my one eco friendly thing today. Snack: Blueberries: Chile; Green Tea (HK water filtered/boil); green tea (organic, fair trade-it ain't from China) Dinner planned English style for Stephen's late birthday: steaks (US and NZ); potatoes (Australia); butter (Australia); coffee (guatemala/milk German); green peas (UK); something green...salad? chocolate cake from bakery (my guess half ingredients from China; France; Germany); bubbly (Italy) Granted, we eat much more Asian food on average, so then our imports may be from Malaysia, Taiwan, Korea, or the Philippines. And we buy local--sometimes very local and organic, but often not. I do when it is convenient and when it works with what I want to eat. Last five months not as much as before. I have to admit, I am not careful enough about this. I have concluded that here it is a no-win situation. You can think about saving the environment, eating locally, or screwing the environment and eating all the imports and making the condition worse. The water--in plastic containers, not great. We run a filter, but there is a ton of stuff in it in all likelihood. That's it for an uplifting dietary observation from Hong Kong. For those who live in less polluted environments, feel lucky and stop shopping so those of us in this part of the world might breathe a bit easier. For those who share this environment with me, well, here's to the planet...