Up on the mountain in slug city
just a kilometer from the beach
I built a small house of cardboard
like the roadside huts in Africa
covered it in vinyl
before the rain came
and fetched water from the spring
tried to stay alive -
the water deer, fleet-footed and protected
the pheasants startling, uncatchable
the only game - rabbits
cute and furry, park pets
not wild woodland snowshoes
I snared as a kid.
Picked sesame and wild lily leaves
dug around for ginseng, fallen chestnuts
tried my best to stay alive.
In the night the sounds of lovers’ cars
tour buses gunning to the top
up the winding road to the lookout
firecrackers from the beach
like a war zone
birds in the quiet morning.
Rural House -- Shandor Alexander