In this dream, a penguin was freezing
because he couldn’t get close to the other
penguins and huddle with them for warmth.
They had a rule, a custom, you see, that any
citizen of their community must call out
if they wanted inclusion.
His voice didn’t work, so he couldn’t call out,
couldn’t announce himself and declare his coldness.
He beat his flippers and stomped his feet, and all
that came out of his mouth was steam.
A human came to his aid, implanted a small reed
into his throat, and now, not only is this
penguin included, he’s famous!
Those other penguins shouldn’t take
their chattering beaks for granted.
YEAR OF THE DRAGON
I was a Dragon baby in ’64, but
I didn’t get the good one. My birth was not heralded by
the magnificent, regal, fierce fellow, that magical beast
said to bring good luck and an easy life.
I got the other one–the runt of the litter.
A sad, pitiful creature: skin and bones, his scales are dull,
his eyes are watery and he coughs like a smoker.
His brother– the famous beloved one,
should have eaten him ages ago–
it would have been the kindest thing to do.
This one doesn’t fly or breathe fire.
He doesn’t even look good in red.
The poor fellow isn’t celebrated, hardly noticed really.
What shall we make of this shadow-of a- dragon life?
Say, did you hear about that Penguin with the prosthetic voice?