His eyes offer prayers at the altar,
rooted to a holy tree that trembles
with each hoarded year bringing
the birth of taller, glass-eyed gods.
Hands meet in devotion, bend
toward a plate of effervescence that
never keeps more than a few days
in the sun, peels from sacrifice to seed.
He has hung a new calendar full
of promises, blessings for this
journey, yet not once has he felt
god touch him, no hand tangles
with his through the incense sticks,
bowing for a glimpse of eternity in
the space between a man and his god;
never more than a reflection away.
About the poem: Chinese New Year is always a major time of celebration, offering blessings to start the year right, whether it be at a temple or by the roadside. This photo was taken along Jalan Besar on the seventh day of CNY, also known as the day when mankind was created.
Like what you read? See more poems by Marc Nair on his page.