Friday, October 19, 2012

New Poetry by Betty Johnston


Mayhem in Hanoi’s old streets
in Vientiane
a confusion of voices
next door.

Wall hangings in the market
all look the same
as do the infinity of Buddhas
in the mountain cave.

There must be a way
to cross streets in Hanoi
the man with baskets on a pole
threads calmly past families on motor bikes.

At the markets they tell me, I see that
these hangings are fine silk, these
less so, these
cotton embroidered with silk.

Some Buddhas it seems bring rain.

Next door in Vientiane people
and through my bedroom window in the heat of the evening
I hear, I
sa bai dee, hello.

- Betty Johnston 2012

Betty Johnston is a former mathematics educator, who lives in Sydney and writes poetry and short stories. She has several stories published, one in Room to Move, an Australian anthology of women’s short stories, and poems published in a number of collections – Illumina 2007, Minute to Midnight - and online.

No comments: