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Issue #56, China: Dali, April 14, 2003. Haiku and photographs by jonathan.

4/14 Dali
distant snowcapped peaks
rice fields, cultivated ground
landing in dali

mountains surrounding
red earth and green rice terraces
airport on plateau

door porter yawning
early morning in dali
under silver pearl

red tassel, red string
indicates a single girl
three years hard labor
if you want to marry her

kublai kahn's backyard
man sweeps hoe decisively
colt nuzzles mother

dali street market
bartering and haggling
for silver jewlry

xu xia ke
"chinese marco polo"
ming dynasty

baskets strapped to head
holding squirming piglet pair
and lively rooster

no sign of lovers
who committed suicide
at butterfly spring

cassandra shopping
leaving behind her a wake
of bai shopladies

snow flower
wind moon
on their big hats

scuz in the gullies
indigo dye in the vats
both looking quite blue

locking feet, leaping together
first a bitter tea
to symbolize the struggles
at the start of life

china's vice premier
visits dali, forcing us
to take the back roads

pinching bride and groom
good way to end the wedding
if you are bai

married then divorced
with a war in the middle
the cycle of life

another village
where people worked hard for years
and now we stroll through

4/15 dali chang shan
watermelon juice
frothy amidst flat salt cake
melon flute drones on

slowly up chairlift
past ancestors' tombs and mounds
spreckled with incense

taoist priest smoking
in temple of supreme god,
zhong he shi

taoist deities
scowl from secluded shelter
i leave no incense

above lake erhi
birds sing, chinese loudspeaker
fliters from below

springtime in dali
orange-seated chairlift takes us
soaring above lake

towards the pagodas
we float as if in a dream
on slow moving chair

man chipping a rock
below terraces of tombs
i glide on chairlift

hanoki cypress
at the base of the chang shan
japanese import

while we eat our lunch
man drinks from dragon fountain
unleashing great spit

maid thwarting attempt
to make timely bathroom break
before we rush off

solo/group kukai
jonathan machen