Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas Comes To Emei Mountain

Christmas comes to Emei Mountain.
What a great idea and fun so dear!
Only a month away! We must begin,
To celebrate the best day of the year!

Christmas comes to Emei Mountain.
Can we find a turkey or a big ham?
No? Guess we’ll do a Chinese spin
With shredded meat and pineapple jam.

Christmas comes to Emei Mountain.
My students want a Christmas tree.
Can we go and do some cuttin’
Up on the mountain where it’s free?

Christmas comes to Emei Mountain.
Time to print the joyful carols
Pass them out and start the singin’
And hope the noise brings no perils

Christmas comes to Emei Mountain
Really at the Jiaotong College
So let the singing now begin
Adding to our Western knowledge

A Surprise Visit

‘Tis Christmas here at Jiaotong U
The lights aren’t up, what can I do
Our Allen has a Christmas tree
I wonder where can Allen be

‘Tis Christmas in the classroom now
My students test what I’ll allow
They throw stuff at the Christmas tree
But hit the wall and poor ole me

The star atop the shining tree
It wavers, falls and crashes free
With shaking hands I grab the glass
And throw it in the nearby trash

The students now refuse to budge
‘Tis Christmas now and time to judge
Their creative lines of poetry
So they all line up by the tree

The first one reads her lines of joy
Screaming and yelling to annoy
Her teacher on this Christmas day
A day of shock with much dismay

The next one sings a song of love
Her voice moves out and floats above
Yelling classmates in disarray
They’re having fun. It’s Christmas day!

Christmas poems are sung nonstop
Some do rock while others hip hop
Their songs float out the open door
Crashing loudly along the floor

All of a sudden before I could blink
In popped a fat man, old St. Nick
He shouted a word in Chinese
Stopping the noise, an instant freeze

Squatting down with a sack of stuff
Colorful boxes, strangely enough
The students were now in their seats
Waiting for their expected treats

Sure enough, as quick as foxes
Ole St. Nick passed out his boxes
All the students got gifts so fine
So I asked the man where was mine

He looked at me with a wink and a smile
As he walked slowly down the center aisle
“Your gifts are who you teach each day,”
He said, disappearing out the doorway.

‘Tis Christmas here at Jiaotong U
The party’s over, we’re all through
All my students have gone away
‘Tis really Christmas every day

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Bronze of Emei

I saw the sun ride the clouds this morning over Emei.
It rose from haze and darkness, past green trees
Of softness, past temples, gleaming their gold display,
Of radiant light above the lazy, hazy green mountain seas.

There, on top, was the temple. Bronze-born would soon be
The central profile of the peak. On such a golden sight
One focuses now the clearing haze. Beyond such beauty can eyes see
Far off ranges rise to mark a face turned toward the light?

Or, having seen the beauty of the bronze, does it
Force us motionless in awesome vision before
We know the haze of clouds removes our visual limit,
And swing our eyes in time to see the face of beauty to restore

Those far-off peaks? The sea of clouds? The other views?
Views, that each of us has climbed to see and muse?

On The Golden Summit

I still remember the first time on Emei
Two hours or more by bus to the ridge
Walk for thirty minutes, watching monkeys at play.
The Swiss cable car to the summit, like a bridge.

On the summit, people walk down a wooden lane.
Follow the crowd down then up to the tourist stalls
Check out the stuff, Buddhist. Its starts to rain.
Only for a minute then Sunee calls.

She shops for her family in Thailand
“Do you think Suwannah will like this?”
Don’t have a clue! Hey that’s a pretty fan.”
“How much for the fan?” I asked the young miss.

“Don’t need a fan. Do you like these gold rings?’
“I like the green one and not the pink one. Buy it”
“Ok, I’ll get her the green one and other things .”
“No more shopping, Let’s go to the summit.”

The summit was a nice five-minute walk.
Caught a glimpse of a nine-headed figure
They don’t have one like this in Bangkok.
Looks like some kind of bronze architecture.

Walk around the corner and took a break
Buddhist music coming from another stall.
Sunee checks out the music, big mistake.
She buys the video CD, the price not small.

Enough of this shopping, before I bawl.
Up some stairs to the left and then the right.
Wow! The nine-headed golden buddha standing tall.
Then behind, the huge bronze temple, What a sight!

Looked at the map for the information about it.
Gotta be something about this beautiful thing.
Largest completely bronze structure on the planet.
I knew it! The guide says it is called Jinding.

Here I am taking pictures, lots and lots.
An hour or two and it is time to go back down.
We walk along the edge, stopping at several spots.
The clouds below us form then move all around.

Time to go back to the Swiss cable car.
What’s those things on the fence, hanging?
Locks, names and dates inscribed . Bizaare!
Sunee buys one. Now it is part of the offering.

Take only pictures, leave only a lock.
What a way to end this wonderful walk!