Umbrella Movement / September 2016 (Issue 33)

Sickness Upon The Golden Bell: Day IV - VI

poetry by Lo Mei Wa and photography by Manson Wong


Snake plants creep from afar
to soak up toxins for chicks.

They know the essential toys
for raising a wholesome chick

and that the simplicity of clean air
explains the world’s nudity.

They belong to a history of dying
to immortalize the good.

A mother waddles toward them,
a carton of kids in her arms.

“Bring them to demolitions, to futures. Please.”
She turns, choosing a vanishing shade.

A chick stoops to pore over the kids.
The Golden Bell clangs.


“Stop drawing incorrect words out through your teeth.”
“Your farm’s radioactive fruits will be confiscated.”

One of the farmers laughs at his own words, “Disintegrate, or be disappeared!” The tiniest chick eases to the front line, unarmed and arms widely open. Ten thousand more leap in, surging into one mammoth chick. The farmers charge with butcher knives. Its neck still stretches all the way heavenward, above the canopies, the stars, the farmers stabbing from below. Its roar reaches the farthest prisoner dormant in the world.


You, who are parentless now,
have become the parents of yourselves.

You are the forgotten dream
of a blue ocean

where good and bad fish interweave
into one transparent water.

You know how a black downpour
between rogue waves

and the little ripples on the sea's skin
can kill the instinct for a destination.

You can swim across an ocean
and reach a shore denied

by all climates, by all seasons,
and land with a small golden bell

tinkling around your neck—
it marks your arrival.

You will teach one another
to sink the mirage of land

and paint your feather
into something better.
Website © Cha: An Asian Literary Journal 2007-2018
ISSN 1999-5032
All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.