Payout

My friend warns me:
“You’d better get ready.
The Chinese are coming
For their money.
Why aren’t our schools teaching Chinese
Instead of Spanish?
We’re going to be so unprepared
When they come for their money.”

I wonder:
Will they bring mulberries and jade?
Astragalus for my immune system?
Imperial moths for my silk collection?
Ink for drawing plum blossoms?
Will seven Buddhist missionaries
Convert my multi-tasking mind
To thinking one thought at a time?
Will they be satisfied with my
One cup of tea with a teaspoon of honey
One poem
One painting
One song
One friend
One handful of coins in an open-faced palm?

ptc

 

13 comments

  1. Ptc,

    “One handful of coins in an open-faced palm?”

    I suspect this poem has nothing to do with the un-balance of trade,
    nor the ever present “made in China”. I see it as a celebration of
    the jade, the plum blossoms, and the silk. Separating the people
    from the political is a tough task, but I believe your poem does that
    beautifully.

    Thank you.

    Sarah

    Like

  2. Hi Ptc

    I love the way this poem thinks and progresses — form those fearing a culture/people from personal profiling to the open hearted/.handed poet who sees the beauty of a people identified with art, healing, wisdom and
    restraint. I especially like how you are receptive to what you can learn from them


    Will seven Buddhist missionaries
    Convert my multi-tasking mind
    To thinking one thought at a time?”

    and how you wonder if they will be satisfied, encouraged by one person opening herself
    and her talent to them in return.

    You make a wonderful statement about seeing the best in humanity. Lovely details and phrasing.

    Thank you!
    Wendy

    Like

  3. The poem lists some things that would add beauty
    and serenity to our lives.

    In these lines:

    “Will seven Buddhist missionaries
    Convert my multi-tasking mind
    To thinking one thought at a time?”

    I could not help but think, I wish
    something could help my multi-tasking mind take a slower
    pace sometimes.

    Much enjoyed reading.
    take care,
    Kerri

    Like

  4. Dear Ptc

    This is truly elegant. You convey such an organic Buddhist attitude that any Chinese who were offered this as their payout would, I expect, be quite intimidated by its non-violence!

    Really, it’s striking, beautiful and koan-like.

    Well done.

    M.

    Like

    • “intimidated by nonviolence”. I like that phrase. Reading Tao of Pooh was an important choice many years ago. Thank you for your comment. ptc

      Like

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