Something I never expected in my wildest dreams when I began writing The City of Light was that one day it would be published in China.
But, thanks to the fantastic team at Fiberead, it soon will be, along with all the other books in The Secret of the Tirthas series, which are currently at various stages of translation / proofreading.
Here is the amazing Mandarin cover for The City of Light:
A big pastime for old men in Hong Kong is keeping songbirds. There’s a large garden on Yeung Po Street in the Kowloon district, where men go to feed birds in return for songs.
I wrote this poem when I was there in 2001; it was published in the Belmont Art Centre’s Poetry File programme for teaching in secondary schools in Shropshire.
Bird Garden, Hong Kong
In the new Bird Garden
on Yeung Po Street
very old men
gaze at caged songbirds.
One lifts a bell-shaped dome
from a branch,
holds it above his chest,
below his earth-worn face.
There. Its sudden trill
could be the sound of hope
bright beads falling from the string of time –
or the beauty of things forgotten.