Poetry / November 2008 (Issue 5)

Two Poems

by Steven Schroeder

 Guidebook Says

Typhoon mumbles something
about coming to Guangdong
in a language of waves
and steady rain that grows
stronger as the day passes. It hangs
offshore, feet shuffling like a tourist
running out of time
torn between sights
the guidebook says must not be
missed, keeps talking
rain that has everyone carrying
umbrellas and anticipation, thinking
about what has to be tied down
before the wind rises.

Editors' note: Read "A Cup of Fine Tea: Steven Schroeder's "Guidebook Says"" here.

A Water Planet

On clear days, Hong Kong is a white line
of mushrooms rising straight-stemmed brown-rimmed
on a scrap of blue that skirts the long bridge.

Yesterday, it was a bank of dark clouds
glowing red with three days of rain
towering over cities on both sides

to remind every living thing in them
how small we are, how little we know
of a water planet we inhabit

like insects on a dry leaf
floating on the surface of a pond.

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