Boiled in a somber broth

of ginseng and wolfberries,

angelica and licorice root,

chuan xiong and longan

you float, silkie,

black of skin, of flesh,

of bone in your sky blue


You remind me of night,

of falling off a towering

cliff of insomnia into a black

hole dream

in which I am a lost orca

swimming in a sea without


Ni hao, readers! I’m back from Taiwan where I had the good or perhaps I might say auspicious fortune of spending Chinese New Year with my son, M, his girlfriend, P, and her family.

Today is Day 1 of National Poetry Writing Month, NaPoWriMo, in which many poets in our country will be penning a poem each day for the month of April. As usual, my muse shook me awake at 3:30 a.m., this time screaming, “Chicken soup! Chicken soup!” She must have been inspired by the incredible feast we had at P’s mom’s house in which the last delicacy set on the table, next to the pig ankle and hooves, was black chicken soup. It is made with a silkie chicken and, I  was told, with a special “medicine” that cures just about everything. Anyhow, this poem is what Muse served me for breakfast.

11 thoughts on “Black Chicken Soup

  1. Let the games begin — following your adventures on NaPoWriMo! We’ll see if you can bring me along a bit further in poetry appreciation. Today’s left me with a mood . . . “falling off a towering
    cliff of insomnia into a black hold dream” is evocative. . .


    • Hi Katie. I believe you started to soften up to poetry last year, right? I hate to say this, but everyone I talked with today didn’t sleep well last night. Isn’t that strange? You, though, used the time for some creative work, which is super-cool. Who can resist the muse? Not I!


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