rubbing the dragon’s back///before i paint him


the sketch i did outside the hong kong take away while waiting for my food…


leaning on a greasy counter
in the rain, driP dRop
spring’s a mermaid, seaweed pony tail
&nautilus/striped goggles

“i’d love to get some rice with chicken &— ”
he leans out the little window,
steam rises in big puffs from his wok
i shout against the car’s
shttsshhhzzzz tshhhhssszk eeeaaarrrrrhhrr
“oh– ok” he nods,

his color’s a red flag,
pointing home-land
& the blue of rain
which trampoline-jumps
on a yellow-striped umbrella
while i wait, sketch the scene
from the shelter of a tiny rooftop overhang

pHloP sszzZZzhhhsshhhh
he pours oil & tosses chicken pieces
through a drape of thousand molecules,
shifting clouds upUpTowards the fume hood

“i’d add white” i think, like fog
like the orchid on their banner,
&the powdered milk a priest gave to a little boy
in the daylight-fleeting streets of the walled city

his wife packs my meal
in a little alu box, adjusts the lid,
silver, like the hong kong skyline,
silver like her hair, she laughs

as a mischievous gust of wind
grabs my note and flutters it
along the boardwalk,
i run after it

& paint ’em green
like glimpses of Yau Ma Tei’s jade market
or the peppers that bend heads towards me,
“thanks” i smile,
walk hood down,

sWing //in resonance frequency
of every color i can see,

& let ’em driP dRop dRiP
thousand silly kisses on me


today at dVerse Abhra wants us to think about coloring others… pub doors open at 3pm EST
and for those who are interested in some background about the walled city, click here


42 responses to “rubbing the dragon’s back///before i paint him

  1. You poetically painted this scene well, Claudia. I enjoyed the diversity of colors you worked into your poem. The red flag, the yellow striped umbrella, the silver box…. Color is so very important in our world.

  2. you def set the atmosphere in this one…would love to try the food…love the blue of rain trampoline jumping…ha…there is nice energy in that…great use of sounds in this as well…i like that swinging in resonance with the colors around you as well…

  3. I love your Hong Kong poem, Claudia! Hong Kong is a favorite place of mine and I like how you make it alive through your words. I have eaten some great food there.

  4. This time Claudia, I decided to read your poem before I saw your drawing. Your words do create so well that which is in your mind, or that which you are seeing. This was fun.

  5. Your picture just amazing, these umbrellas and clouds against the horizontal lines of the road – nice contrast and balanced the picture nicely…. ~ love the vivid scene you described with also colorful words ~ nice trip, and the motorcycle – the star of the picture ( missed yours, for sure :)x

  6. Another perfect blend of art work & heart speak; a brilliant poem with a creative use of place & of course, color. You never disappoint, & your very unique way of rocking the prompt makes me smile hard; you’re the the patron saint poetic mother of travelers; long may you wander, & thanks for sharing.

  7. such a rich lovely scene you paint with your words… you made me smile and sigh all the way through. love this
    “the blue of rain
    which trampoline-jumps
    on a yellow-striped umbrella” and
    the thousand silly kisses…

  8. This is delightful! Your travel poems always make me want to embark on adventures. Thanks for your kind words at my site. I’m on spring break from my psychology classes so I had to hang out with all the lovely people at dVerse, it’s great to see you :).

  9. I was going to pass on this prompt because of my computer woes, but after reading yours and a few others, I think I’m going to have to give it a whirl. Love this and your use of color in your word-painting.

  10. silver, like the hong kong skyline,
    silver like her hair,

    I love these lines, the way the colors correspond between the person and the surroundings. Excellent writing all the way through!

  11. Lots of vibrant movements with colors, people and incoming spring. Always in the mood for people watching as it gives lots of ideas later. Great write Claudia!


  12. A beauty. I would buy this book, poem and pictures and study it to learn how to carry bouquets and palettes of joy everywhere.

  13. I enjoyed this, Claudia. Both your sketch and your poem are very colorful and descriptive of the scene. It’s so cool that you sketch while waiting for the food, capturing the moment, sounds and sights 🙂

  14. Love all the images and love this….the blue of rain
    which trampoline-jumps
    on a yellow-striped umbrella
    while i wait, sketch the scene…..I feel like I was there 🙂

  15. How lucky to have your own drawings and poetic memories of your travels–so personal– and you’ve derived such inspiration from your interactions with the people and surroundings you’ve encountered. This is a lovely example, Claudia.

  16. You captured an entire scene with color, and the just of the palette variety. 🙂 I like your broadstrokes and your more delicate lines, too. 🙂