A red bug on a leaf of emerald-green clover —
I addressed myself to Almighty God:
Dear Lord, could You please move over!
Because sometimes it is the fine details in an act of artistic creation
that bring me that rich-rare gift —
(do You remember it?) — elation.
Despite a lifetime’s long-drawn-out light-years
how much exaltation did I ever get for all my darkening cares?
How much? I scratched my head, perplexed. I believe
I began to rave:
A bug and a leaf of clover — just for now, that’s all I have —
I said out loud to myself — here on a hotel laundry wall. And — preposterously —
I tell You it is enough.
Photograph: 香港粉嶺麻笏圍 Ma Wat Wai, Fanling, Hong Kong (2016)
At first sight, it was all blue morning right to the top of the sky,
but then I glimpsed
at the edge of my field of vision like a towering cliff
a stiff, slow wall of fog.
I turned my back and shrugged,
being far too dry in my habits by now
after days and days of relentless Summer scorch
to be in any good humour for such vapour-caper.
After breakfast coffee
we took the dogs out in their energies for a walk in the cloud —
the sun was our only light at the end of the tunnel —
it was just rising over Pete’s back dam,
a bleak disk eclipsed by too many smoked-glass filters.
Along Quartz Chip Hill
it rained a rain too fine to feel, a nimbus rain
that maddeningly could never moisten one single growing thing.
We followed our loyal pilots with their curious, quivering tails
up a claw-pitted kangaroo track through emerald coffee bush —
spiderwebs everywhere made droplets into jewellery —
then let gravity pull us irresistibly down the slope
in the direction of Jung Road,
deserted, dead-ended, one-house street.
Without warning, the fog began to vanish into thin air,
taking with it something of my personal mental fog,
and there in its place, suspended wide in the West
was a technicolourless rainbow. We recognized at once
the distinctive broad arch —
perhaps one of triumph over powers that plague us of indistinctness —
but were shocked at its failure
precisely to achieve all the colours of the rainbow.
As far as promises go, it was decidedly a weak one
that left acres of room and to spare for doubt to move in
and yet the paradoxical novelty of its albino plainness
was, in a way, a kind of blessing in disguise,
omen incognito, and a sign that this world —
no matter what we think we have to do with it —
will only ever be true
to its own wilder, wilderness-self.