Writer of words. Builder of worlds.

Tag: personal tales

Clear and Bright Festival: A poem

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:

Walking with Snakes

People will tell you to be careful of snakes in Australia. I mean, they’ll tell you to watch out for spiders, kick-boxing kangaroos, drop bears, and every single animal in Australia, but snakes tend to top the list. And it’s true that the drop bears do serious harm—I mean, it’s true that there are poisonous snakes, but to be honest if you live in an urban area you won’t see too many. You have to go looking for them. Or venture in their territory.

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