Blog News

1. Comments are still disabled though I am thinking of enabling them again.

2. There are now several extra pages - Poetry Index, Travel, Education, Childish Things - accessible at the top of the page. They index entires before October 2013.

3. I will, in the next few weeks, be adding new pages with other indexes.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

China: A Day In The Life Parts 14 and 15

Of course there is only so long that you can play pool for and once we've finished it's off to the bar for a couple of beers (or sometimes more than a couple: the beer may not be good but it is cheap!)
We have built up a fair selection of bars now and we assign our own name to each as we have never yet succeeded in learning the local name for any of them -or indeed if they have local names.

Barroom Vignettes


  1. The Cat Bar


She is the queen of the bar:

striding from curtained booth

to curtained booth,

allowing her subjects to fawn upon her.


  1. The Five Litre Bar


On the stage she is singing:

eyes closed against the lights,

as we look down

listening to songs we cannot understand.


  1. The Hookah Bar


They smoke hookahs, shout numbers

in lively bar dice games,

drink shot glass beers,

and stare at us when they think we cannot see.


  1. The Barbecue Bar


Barbecued snacks on skewers

sizzle on tin-foil trays,

Tsing-Tao and Snow:

gathering a tabletop bottle army


  1. Richard's Bar


There is a motorbike

parked central in the bar.

We consider.

pondering how it might have come to be there.


  1. The Dark Beer Bar


Chinese leaders stare at us

from pictures on the wall.

We sip black beer

savouring the unfamiliar darkness.

And the final poem of this sequence s rather too short to merit a separate entry. It's simply a coda to the whole sequence.

And the Score At Close of Play


And the score at close of play

is that it's been a happy day.

So that's it, a day in my life in Baiyin. I hope you've enjoyed this brief poetic tour of my life in China. I'm sure there will be many more poems to come, some of which would fit in here but I'll resist the temptation to shoehorn them in and leave this little cycle to stand as it is. You, of course, will not miss out as more poems will be posted as they are created, whatever the subject matter may be.