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Showing posts from 2007
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Mei Nong Taiwan's Beautiful Farms Area Standing here on the top of Lion Mountain in southern Taiwan, you can see the area of Mei Nong, or Beautiful Farm. As you look over to the other side of the valley, you can see the southern end of the mountain range that stretches along the eastern side of the country, forming beautiful seashore areas where, in some places, there is a sheer drop from the mountains to the Pacific ocean. Here in Mei Nong the mountainsides are home to a variety of wildlife, including monkeys who shake the trees in the morning as they settle down to breakfast. This farming area is now being turned into a haven for the newly rich, as the old farm houses built by a Chinese ethnic group known as the Hakka give way to hacienda style houses that look like encampments, some with large metal doors and surrounded by stone walls. Mei Nong includes a smaller area called Long Du, or Dragon’s Belly, where two hundred children have been born who have later earned…
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The China Blues

It is said the Blues sometimes travels in the form of a woman, a woman who changes her form according to the way she travels the tracks of history. She knows the rhythmic rise and fall of hammers laying the ties for the railroads that connected the West Coast with the East Coast, Chinese workers and black workers laboring alongside whites and under white supervision. The hammers rising and falling with the sound of music being born was the rising din of this long bone that became the belly belt of a nation looking to sit on top of the world. It is said this woman knows magic and is magic incarnate, so the regional team the Poetic Advocates for Truth and Epiphanies, otherwise known as PATE, was called to convene in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania on the campus of Bucknell University to investigate the latest reports of sightings. The team launched an arduous investigation, but there were diversions.

As members of the regional team of PATE, we had been given advance warn…
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LIFE IN THE MONASTERY TEACHING TAI CHI CHUAN IN TAIWAN by Afaa Michael Weaver
http://poetscafeunitedstates.spaces.live.com

Taipei, Taiwan, is usually a very busy city, and it especially comes alive, at least for me, at night when all the neon signs are lit and a ride through the city in a taxi is mesmerizing. Or a night spent in the night markets with all the food and goods and the loud music of life is more than your sensors can process at times. There is the stinky tofu, so named for the smell it makes when it is being fried. However, disturbing the smell, I love the stuff. You can buy it at any time of the day. The city sits in a basin with the mountains of the northern end of the island surrounding it like a natural wall. The "pei" part of Taipei means north, and this is the northernmost metropolitan area of this island country that I first visited five years ago, almost to t…
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HIP HOP ROAD, A PATHWAY TO WHO, WHAT WHERE?by Afaa Michael Weaverhttp://poetryconference.com/default.aspxThis spring marks the twentieth anniversary of my graduation from graduate school. I completed my master's in creative writing at Brown University in 1987, and several of my friends were undergraduates, men and women who were about 21 or 22 years old. We had a fabulous ceremony. Stevie Wonder sang and played for us. Connie Chung was there, and so was Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel, wrote the famous children's books THE CAT IN THE HAT and GREEN EGGS AND HAM, among others. I knew those books because I had bought them for my son, who was six years younger than my undergraduate friends. At that time my relationship to folks in their twenties was closer, as now I am thirty-four years older than 21 year olds who will take their degrees this spring. I hope to see them grow into a world of gigantic challenges and become the giants they have to be. I …