The Pool

The chief leaf man rises early.

A breeze in the banyan tree.

The water laps.

Skink lizard on the prowl.

Perfection. Blue. Perfection.

No leaves on the water.

Miles Davis –his ghost –

becoming the banyan tree.

Chief leaf man sees a leaf

in the corner of the pool

and shouts in Vietnamese.

Leaf man number two crouches, 

picks it out.

The apprentice leaf boy,

conical hat,

takes a broom from the storeroom.


The hotel dog –a Saigon mongrel – watches.

Eternal – mythological – war of leaves.

The frangipani quickens.

I watch its petals drop upon the water.

A stiffening breeze from Saigon River.

The palm trees writhe and thrash.