Sunday, 20 March 2011

The Poetry Bus - Uiscebot's Odyssey

It's been a while....

Anyway, this week's Poetry Bus prompt comes from Uiscebot.  We were to go somewhere new, experience it and write about it.  There were some other bits as well - and a threat of death if rules were not followed.

I haven't been anywhere new lately (no time) so wrote about a place which was very new to me when I visited it in 2004 - China.  Everywhere we went, hordes of people would appear from nowhere with cries of Hello!  Hello! and try to sell us 'genuine' Rolexes, Chairman Mao watches and other gewgaws.  We nicknamed these folks the Hello People.

The Hello People

Here are the Hello People,
Crowding excitedly round us,
Hemming us in,
As we alight from bus, train or plane.

Here are the Hello People.
All black eyes, outstretched hands
And big false grins
You buy? Very cheap! You buy?

Here are the Hello People.
They hunt in unruly packs
Our fat western wallets
Are their quarry.

Here are the Hello People.
We should buy, shouldn’t we?
Help the struggling poor?
Make them like us.

Make them like us.


  1. Oh well done! I remember when my mom came to visit me in Zambia we were in a market near Victoria Falls & she pulled out some American dollars - boy was she SWARMED. And they all started laughing when I told her no no no - only kwacha mom, only kwacha! It was a lot of fun, actually.

  2. Really liked how you set the scene, captured that uncomfortable meeting of worlds as far apart as a western fat wallet can be, loved the end, very clever and questioning, great bus ride!

  3. Wow! You captured this perfectly. I haven't been to China, but Mexico is eerily similar. You've got a ticket to ride ..

  4. The italics in the last line are the clincher! :)

  5. Great stuff Argent, expecially the last two lines, excellent tie up to the whole thing

  6. Bug - I found the whole thing really uncomfortable, myself, they really were only interested in our money.

    120 Socks - Thanks. The ending came out of thin air, but I like it myself.

    Helen - Muchas gracias :-)

    Jinksy - I think that's why I was uncomfortable with the Hello People - I wanted to connect with them a bit more than just by giving them money.

    Niamh - Thanks!

    Fragrant Liar - Thanks to you - interesting moniker there.

  7. Great poem! My friend just came back from visiting China and described this very experience. Very uncomfortable. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  8. What a great composition! I love this poem especially the meaning within.


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