Thursday 6 October 2016


A monk's compasson.

Malinee’s father took her to China.
  There was a reception in their honour.
  A monkey was brought in
  and put on the table.

  It was alive.

  Its body filled the cage;
  the head stuck out of the top.

  Everyone watched.
  The monkey’s head
  was carefully shaved.
  The top of its skull was chopped off.
  Wine was poured
  into the exposed brain.

  It was still alive.

  The guests used their chopsticks
  to select pieces of brain.
  They put them in their mouths
  sucking out the taste of the wine.

  Eventually, the monkey died.

  Malinee was horrified.

  Then Malinee’s father
   took her to Singapore.
  There was a reception in their honour.
A large bowl was brought in
with giant prawns.

They were alive.

The chef poured alcohol onto the prawns.
They jumped up and down drunkenly.
Then he lit a match
and the bowl filled with flame.

The prawns died
and were cooked
in the same instant.

Malinee was horrified.

Malinee’s servant brings
fish (and prawns)
from the market.

Malinee eats these.
They are already dead.
That makes all the difference.

To whom?

                  (Bamboo Leaves   Page 172)

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