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Tag Archives Chinatown

ORIENTATION

Walking by Washington Square, to catch

a cable car on the Powell-Mason line

to take us to our Geary Street hotel,

we paused to watch some Chinese elders

at Tai Chi on the lawns before the church –

their graceful and controlled aggression.

We passed a raised bed – the label told us –

of ‘Collinsia heterophylla

aka Purple Chinese Houses –

so-called because of the pagoda shape

of the blooms.’ In the middle of the bed,

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FIGURES OF SPEECH

She is scooting on the South Bank, her four years
sailing without mishap through the crowds –
multi-national, multi-ethnic, mixed race
– like a skilled UN negotiator.
We stop – her choice – at the Galloper.
She rides sedately, grinning, on a painted
wooden horse. We stop again – our choice –
to watch an Australian with a travelled
face and lived-in voice reprise Houdini’s
cabinet trick. She is unimpressed
but enjoys the fifty metre sand pit
beyond the BFI. At the Tate,
she watches a brief video –

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