On Leaving the Chinese Festival

Chinese social club

As I left the Chinese Arts Festival that night
The Dragons followed my soul in flight
Back through the years to old Chinatown that
Whispered Chinese promises with hardly a sound

As I heard under the quiet Pennyfields stars
As Chinamen from the ocean who sailed so far
From old Camay and the revolution and wars
They came in and went through Chinatowns secret doors

I saw the Shanghai men, ashore from sailing ships
Seeking Old Friends in Chinese Restaurants whose lips
And hands were hard and calloused from their months at sea
Working as cheap labour in the ship’s laundry

The groups of Chinese shopkeepers discussing sales
Whose English wives were at the Chandlers sowing sails
While the more disreputable of these Chinese men
Were living in a secret dark opium den

The romance of the Orient enchanted the young
Who flocked to play the Puk-a-Poo game with Chang Chung
While music hall actresses looking for distraction
Came to old Chinatown to sample the action

Then the Chinese outgrew the busy docklands town
And when the sailing ships no longer came around
then they moved inland and their dragons moved as well
Away from the sea and the sound of the ships bell

1999

 

Author: blackbird212012

I am interested in multimedia work: songwriting, art, and creative writing. I have been involved also in theatre and music performances.

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