Zao Wou-ki:

Zao Wou-ki:


you shyly said

in immigrant English

after serving me the

Mongolian Beef


Did you

go to Beijing? 

No, I said, you are as

close to Beijing as I

have ever been!


Your eyes

looked suddenly

down as though I had

said something

too intimate



know land`marks

without understanding

heart`marks learned

only in suffering


Our journey

into understanding

is more arduous & precious than

any discount Chinese lunch

and fortune`cookie line


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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10 Responses to Beijing

  1. redgladiola says:

    Perhaps not too intimate, but a pleasure to know you’ve helped someone experience something new. =)


    • Thank you, redgladiola, for taking a moment to comment on Beijing . . . Just read your Note to fellow poets on WordPress: the artists greatest enemy is self-doubt and the compulsion to compare his/her work with others . . . The gift of poetry is that it is uniquely our own: no one sees the world exactly like we do; and no one can describe that world we see better than we . . . May your discouragement be transformed into the encouragement I see has come from so many of your colleagues . . . Blessings . . .

      Liked by 1 person

  2. having been to Beijing on multiple occasions, I must admit I still don’t understand it very well – I’m sure it’s changed drastically since then, but it remains an enigma for me


  3. SalvaVenia says:

    Very true words, which you have penned down.


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