Patricia Sykes – Hungry Ghost Festival

Sykes LE P&W 2 Nov-Dec 2023

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14th Anniversary Edition, Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Two Nov-Dec 2023.

Hungry Ghost Festivall, poems by Patricia Sykes.

Hungry Ghost Festival

I mull the pros and cons
of Phor Thor as jet-roar
thrusts me through clouds
on the sky road to Penang.
To face Hell, raise Death,
appease grief, avoid revenge,
and apologise for neglect,
each of these a new breath,
an old ghost, and though
none of mine are buried here
I light joss sticks
watch puppet shows
make gifts of food
and Hell Money

but the hiss of oracle
is missing.
In the Temple
of the Azure Cloud
a stupor of vipers
their toxins sedated
by incense writhing
among them, or is
their somnolence
a defence against
straggle queues
of wonderment?

Heavenly Dancer

The Apsara’s 2000 smiles
circle Siem Reap
like a girdle nightly
in the grace of tradition
her daughters dance
in economic hostage
to souvenir hunters
who wield smart phone
cameras like animal traps

some entrapment though
is home-grown, a slew
of scholars consigning
Apsara to Duty Wife
in lifetime service
to the king in heaven

at my hotel the waiter
hungriest for tips
nods yes yes, Duty Wife
and offers to disco
me, my passenger
to his motor bike.
Though my age
doubles his, I do
not call his bluff
all distinctions are
null when face to face
with privilege money.

© Patricia Sykes

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