The street is designated by the photographer. It is not the street scene that waits for the arrival of the photographer, but that the photographer designates the street as such.
Waiting, for our train to stop or to start
a line, we want our clockwork poetry.
We want spreadsheets to write a smile
on a Chinese businessman’s face.
Surely there is a law against waiting too long:
we bow to the lesser gods.
On the station concourse, we exchange life
too quickly for a message on our phones.
Like me, you are a man limping
without a watch and a tie.
We need assurances of fortune cookies
out of the smelting factory of our days.
Sometimes I am tired like a tourist
eating popcorn in an amusement park.
We are snails out of a shell of countries –
can there be a Spirit like water from a stone?
My wallet is a short talisman against the hour –
is there a book waiting to be read?
Poem and photograph previously featured in Friends Newsletter. Hong Kong: Friends of the Art Museum, CUHK. Jan 2013 Issue.