I: At the Benlai Misty Mountains
I am a psychiatrist, recently divorced
Seeing patients who are scarred in the ocean
Of life and love.
I've come to Benlai Island for a vacation.
I am at the Tea House Pagoda in the misty mountains
Where immortals used to roam and laugh.
Eight of them all, but I've not met one
After hiking here for a day and half!
Such mists I love as I can hide my pain
Unlike in my clinic.
All those mists, there must be a river
Or a stream, let me go and find it.
II: By the Island's Stream
I am an art therapist
Who uses painting to inspire children and delinquent youth
I was recently diagnosed with brain cancer
And have come to Benlai Island to find cure
I've heard that the water here can heal
Stories I have heard are verified with some facts
I've drunk much Benlai water and have set up
My easel by the stream . . . where do I begin?
Pure the water, cool clean clear.
Cancer, my cancer, how did I get it and why me?
Was it caused by the chemicals plant near my home?
Or my brother committed suicide without a note?
III: In a Moonlit Evening
The moon is rising, I must retire
But who is there with an easel? Let me go and inquire.
“Oh, how interesting – the eagle has become the girl’s wings!
And she does not know because with her head down she is crying”
"Yes, our shadow is also us," said the painter.
“I am Malando.” he looked up at me with a smile
I was startled by the pain in his eyes.
“I am Woliva, vacationing here in Benlai.”
The full moon shines over the stream
Lighting up surrounding figures and trees
The wild flowers on water banks.
“Would you like to go to the pagoda,” he said, “for some tea?”
IV: At the Tea House Pagoda
She has this elegant but sad look
What is her story can I read her like a book.
“Woliva, that is an interesting name!
What tea do you like?”
“They have an extensive assortment of tea
I am still trying a new kind after 50 cups.”
“I will take the pointed green tea.
The tea leaves soak up water and then stand pointing up
The flavor is light and fragrant.
It is my mother’s favorite tea when she grew up
“I will order dao hong pao, an oolong tea
Cultivated in the 6th century in Mt. Wuyi
The taste is aromatic and strong
It is considered the king of teas.
(To Be Continued)
"A poem a day" challenge - Day 3. I have started working on a love story of two people who devote their lives to healing others but find themselves deeply wounded in life. How do we heal others and ourselves -- that is the question I am trying to answer in this narrative poem.