Chinese New Year 2013 : Year of the Snake
It is late November
And dusk falls early in Cheng Du.
Across the freezing lake
Above the Little Potola Monastery
Hangs a pale full moon.
A pagoda and an arched bridge
Stand silhouetted against the yellow sky,
Like carefully arranged props
On a willow patterned wedding cake.
Eating a penny stick of toffee plums,
And knowing their reputed powers,
I catch up with Little Lu,
Our tiny and vivacious Chinese guide.
“The comforting moon”, I observe,
“reflected in the biting waters of the lake.
This is the China of Li Po,
I feel a poem coming on”.
Little Lu looks up at me,
Her brown eyes twinkling in the gloom.
“What’s up” she says, more than a little condescending,
“Don’t you have full moons in England?”