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Issue #93, My Son, Vietnam - Champa Sculpture Museum, plus Marble Mountain, July 11-13, 2004

My Son, Champa sculpture museum, Marble mountain 7/11-13/04

most relics headless
in ancient champa kingdom
beneath cat claw peak

ancient monuments
bombed into submission
in american war

witness to bombings
viet cong insurgency
monuments still stand

startled by the fern
whose sensitive lacy fronds
move to my touch

yellow dragonflies
flit between past and present
near shiva lingam

lizards remember
crawling about ruins

delicate stonework
shows indian connection
six arms of siva

champa garuda
style borrowed from india
sitting in danang

graceful siva rests
800 years from the day
in sketchbook

ants surround spider
on steps to marble mountain
tourists caught in web

at every junction
another vendor who pleads
entreats and cajoles

they say china beach
was the site of the last lunch
for many soldiers

between ancient champa sculpture
and modern marble

my deep suspicion
that paige is closet shopper
still unconfirmed

my deep suspicion
that i am closet shopper
finally confirmed

an obstacle course:
the daily driving routine
make peace with honking

hallo, motorbike?
perhaps this should be the name
of a new opera

shopkeeper singing
carpenters' song while paige
buys bunch of chopsticks

whistling at bird
old man sits in purple chair
the bird whistles back

gregarious gal -
after learning we will buy,
she turns on the charm

persistent young chap
confounded when i tell him
we are from nowhere

few tourists our age -
they're all having babies
should we join the crowd?

this is our last trip
for a long,long,long.long time
if we join the crowd

a bunch of zeroes
the dong is getting to me
filling my wallet

honk, honk, nudge, nudge
loud noises not seen as rude
only essential

war - before -
tourism - today
where does the time go?

incense on the street
stuck into crack on sidewalk
smoke mingles with life

here comes the trash truck
with obnoxious melody
blaring from speakers

ashamed at moments
to reveal where we are from
they don't seem to mind

they say if you sneeze
someone is thinking of you
no need to be blessed

solo/group kukai
jonathan machen