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Podcast 2019
Middle Kingdom Podcasts (2005-2017)

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The Language Company
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China Street

Here's a passage from an abandoned Moleskine notebook on street life in China.

After a long steady heavy rain

a pregnant woman propped her mop made of discarded rainbows -

as her solemn dispassionate husband shucked peas before removing garlic shells from their protective casing

after sky finished crying

washing student street where parades of disenfranchised youth sought shelter from the storm

open windows released cello notes

as a child sitting rigid practiced tuning their eyes to black notes on white pages

determined to master the instrument to please her parents

another music student hammered piano keys behind locked doors to please his parents

flies gathered around brown sticky paste dripping off a cracked plate

as feelers extended hope toward a thin white butterfly lifting off a green leaf

Type A

Type B


Laos Poem

The blind man and his daughter.
He wore a felt hat. He gripped a wooden staff. His face was long and sallow.
The girl was 11. Wearing cotton, her face was solemn, shocked.
Both wore plastic flip-flops.
She held his hand.
They came to an intersection. Small buses, bikes, lost fat Europeans, orange robed wandering monks, silver vans. Women carrying bamboo baskets spilling oranges negotiated pavement.
The girl led the man across the street.
Their pace steady, yet hesitant.
She was his eyes. He trusted her implicitly.
A stranger drawing in his notebook watched them.
He pulled a 20 Kip note from his pocket.
He gestured to the girl, Take it.
She froze.
She spoke quick Lao words to her father.
Questioning, doubt, healthy uncertainty in her eyes.
The stranger gestured the 20.
She remained still.
He got up and slowly approached her. His hand extended the money.
His hand said, take it.
Her small hand emerged with caution. Her small fingers accepted the gift.
She smiled placing her hands together.
Her fingertips touched her chin meaning, Thank you.
She whispered to her father, it's 20.
His blind eyes darted back and forth.
He mumbled, Thank you, joining his hands.
His wooden staff hung in the air like a pendulum.
She led him away.

They disappeared.

Phonsavan, Laos



Red, blue, yellow
Colors engage senses

Dust coffee rice
Home zone bamboo ice
Vocal chords
Language cultures
Eye-heart-hand shadow puppets

Music cleans ears

A professional stranger shows up
Among whisper smiles
Old man with bamboo staff coughs
Walks as voices decipher meaning’s intention

Plainclothes officer cleans glasses
With what they don’t know or understand
White paper

A girl loving geography
Lights four incense sticks with gratitude
Prays for good luck health and wealth

Dance now think later
Zen meditation
Line shading color
Burma, Laos, Cambodia - verbal and visual stories, imagination,

love, play, dreams, intuition, instinct, preparation,

luck and skill throw a party
Everyone is invited to the play

Grow Your Soul



Zen garden magic
Heart sutra
Swimming exercise movement breath
Tai-chi below blue surface

Float on back
upside down clouds
drink sky vision
calm water feels soft

yellow green leaves float
bird song wings light
hello blue sky

black butterflies
mating moths
blue water reflects spirit energies
pure clean radiant


Grow Your Soul

Mandalay, Burma


Along Mekong in Laos

After she stopped crying
The lonely Chinese woman
Killed herself
Being the survivor/victim
Of the one child genocide policy
Afraid to lose face
Afraid her parents will lose face
Afraid her dead ancestors
Eating in sense lose face
Where is my face said her mask
Eating her face


Waif on her own walking along Mekong
In a flow state
Bare structure angular momentum
Ballet dancer on point
Permanently poised
Dance energy sway hips
Shift down a gentle rolling


Grow Your Soul

Bhaktapur, Nepal