Yeah, so I’m a little tired of using Canva. The poetry challenge is still going well, but instead of regaling you with all the poems (good, bad, and mediocre) I’ll stick to the one that was most personal.

Something people often don’t realise is that ancient China also used a solar calendar. They were farmers, after all: they needed to keep track of the seasons. Clear and Bright Festival, sometimes known as Qing Ming or Tomb Sweeping Festival, is a festival that takes places on that solar calendar, around the 4th or 5th of April each year. Here in Australia, my family celebrates it on Good Friday, so we can easily get the day off. We go to the cemetery, burn incense, display food, and burn paper money, gold, and cloth (the idea being that the smoke rises to heaven and, I guess, brings the gold and money and cloth with it). For global pandemic reasons, we didn’t actually celebrate this year, so I wrote this poem instead:

It is clear and bright today
Clear enough to see
All the people of my past supporting me
My family

So today
We put the flowers and incense in their places
We clean the resting places
Of those gone before
We remember their faces
Clear and bright

We lay out food
Roast meats
Glutinous treats
Taste their flavours
Clear and bright

We burn paper, cloth and gold
Taking care to keep the smoke
Out of our eyes and nose
(Impossible, it follows wherever we go)
We keep the fire burning
Clear and bright

We talk and we share
Tell each other: take care
We keep the memories
Clear and bright
We keep our family
Clear and bright