Market Day in Hanoi

That pound pounding of
Dull knives lopping off wide –
Eyed, surprised fish. The
Hot days catch. While in

Another row an old, hunch-
Backed woman rises with
Broken hands that so gently
Move up and move up and move
Down spices, spices:
Brilliant, sunny saffron,
Startling cinnamon,
Nutmeg, great fists of
Pepper that punch you as
You inch by to

A world of meats by an open,
Wood flame. Blood
On the pavement. Cloudy water
Running out to
Dank, putrid drains. A
Scrawny, half-alive cat lapping
At refuse with a wild, savage
Stare. But,

Flames jump and rise, jump
And fall on burnt almonds and
Sweat the falls from tired, eager
Brows that offer you food and
Drink and waste and wine on
A sun-burned day in a market in
A humid, too hot capital
In Asia.

14 thoughts on “Market Day in Hanoi

  1. Polly January 5, 2016 / 10:48 pm

    The poem echoes the chopping of the knife…I like this a lot

    Like

  2. Glenn Buttkus January 5, 2016 / 10:49 pm

    An incredible travelogue, putting reader right beside you 100 yards from the Hanoi Hilton, sometime after 1973; you kicked the butt of the prompt, & the wordsmithing & prose is brilliant, like the prologue for an Asian dramatic novella. I like the lines /great fists of/pepper that punch you as/you inch by/.

    Like

  3. Grace January 5, 2016 / 11:00 pm

    You took me right there in the sun-burnt market, with spices & smells ~ This part I really like:

    Down spices, spices:
    Brilliant, sunny saffron,
    Startling cinnamon,
    Nutmeg, great fists of
    Pepper that punch you –

    Thanks for the nostalgic share ~

    Like

  4. Mary January 6, 2016 / 12:51 am

    Yes, the scent of it all……

    Like

  5. Sanaa Rizvi January 6, 2016 / 12:51 am

    Love this – thanks for this evocative piece 🙂

    Like

  6. Candy January 6, 2016 / 12:59 am

    you took us on an scent filled adventure

    Like

  7. kanzensakura January 6, 2016 / 1:17 am

    I like how you break your sentences at the end of a stanza – wonderful descriptions of the Asian market. Puts me in mind of Cambodia – in the past few years! The descriptors of the sights are so intense I can smell it. the punch of the pepper – oh yes.

    Like

  8. kelly January 6, 2016 / 1:42 am

    This is really fabulous… A rich tapestry of description, scent, sound and visuals… Some really stunning lines.

    Like

  9. Bodhirose January 6, 2016 / 4:29 am

    I could envision it all, and almost smell that market place! Totally enjoyed.

    Like

  10. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) January 6, 2016 / 7:26 am

    This bring back the realisation how free from smells we are in the western world.. How gradually things have ceased to smell. A market in Asia – what a wonderful smash in the face…

    Like

  11. MarinaSofia January 6, 2016 / 1:30 pm

    Short, choppy lines mimicking the rise and fall of the knives, the melee of scents and colour, the bustle of the market… great combination of sounds.

    Like

  12. rythaephua January 7, 2016 / 7:21 am

    A world of meats by an open,
    Wood flame.

    My favorite lines. Nice one.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s