Poetry / September 2014 (Issue 25)

In Memory of Leung Ping-Kwan

by Iris Fan

no southern terra other than this one
where once a painter dreamed of water
rising from an ancient river flooding his farm
on the next day drew a blue shadow
arching above the ranch and the pulpit rock
hidden in the mist at dusk
but if mist had roots that's an interesting title
you said to me on the top floor of a double-decker bus
one night from Gold Coast to Paterson Street
which smelt like petrol fast food perfume medicine
and the bay seen through a doorway on Penha Hill
where you watched the handover night fireworks
diminishing into the darkness in a cinema room
dust floating in streaks of projector light
turning into the headlight of a train stopped for passengers
yes we spent most of our time on trains

in that foreign city in winter
I slept on the top bunk every night
gazing through the tall window down to the street below
dozing wondering if this was how a snowflake saw
when it was falling for almost a whole week
we read our books on the underground
past Swiss Cottage passing Bond Street at peak hour
you got on the MTR took out your notes for the poetry lecture
Yeats Auden Eliot at seven thirty
the sweet oneiric morning air diluted in conversations
about weather election and soup recipes
babbling until one had to get off and join the current
at Admiralty like a fish dived into the vortex centre
spinning like a star motionless when seen from here
on the riverbank all sounds became the sound of wind
groping through reeds hushing away on water
around our ankles mist began to gather
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