Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Stefanie Bennett- A Poem


WEN & THE RED CANDLE ...Wen I-to, Executed in 1946    
 
Putting on my flag-ship colours,
My work boots, my worn gloves,
I go out to greet you, dark visitor.
 
You went by the way of the Western-bank.
You will rise, in that same place – this time
Carrying the whole of China with you.
 
Brother poet, the chronicles have been
Reshuffled: thankfully
Your works are no longer set alight.
 
No! I do not wish to cause discomfort, but
The news I bring is... desolate.
Millions now join you in exile.
 
Confidentially, there are no safe crossings;
And reason drifts with the river-wind.
We must turn again from the T’ ie-an-men.
 
All is circumspect, my dark visitor.
The garrisons of greed are treacherous and
Conduct slavery quite openly. The globe –,
 
The globe of precious change has shrunk
Ten thousand times since
You blessed it with your tears.
 
As you prophesised, the ‘dead water’ has risen.
Peking’s paper-ghosts are the same
As their Western counterparts.
 
You said... ‘build a bridge! ...cross over’ !
Instead, they built a star-ship to heaven
                    - A red sun so bright
None can see the way back...
 
I go out to greet you, dark visitor –,
Your old war-cry at my throat. Our white flag
Is no surrender,
                    Just a soiled heart
Tattered by grief.
 
 
{Previously published by Flinders University’s ‘Literary Responses to Asia’}
 
 
Stefanie Bennett has published several books of poetry, a novel, and a libretto. Her poems
have also been published by VerseWrights, Galway Review, Jelly Fish Whispers, Communion,
Shot Glass Journal, Aleola Journal, Bijou Poetry Review, IS&T, The New Verse News and
others. Of mixed ancestry [Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee], she was born in Queensland,
Australia, in 1945.
 
 

2 comments:

  1. Excellent poem and so true. Thank you for sharing this!

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  2. Robert Lavett SmithFebruary 26, 2015 at 7:25 PM

    This superb poem is not only beautifully-written, but also all the more remarkable for capturing a very Asian poetic voice despite being written in a distinctly Western style.

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