Diptych for Hong Kong’s Dragon Gates, While the Students Protest – by Candice Kelsey

Diptych fo Hong Kong's Dragon Gates, While the Students Protest


Pull our rickshaw faith
into the sea troubled
by feathery winds
and as you
lose your weight and grip
take from me
these eyes your tip.
Kick off toward the moon's dock:
Let us sink like Ophelia flowered
by dagger-tooth junks playing about
our smoky hair bubbling
to the sound
of a collective swallow.
That will be our lullaby as we
watch the great donor shore keep offering
its marrow.


Our dream like a rotting potato
bruised and collapsed
turns green as jade
and almost as lovely.
We chant Revolution.
For from the sea we’ll rise
one winged dragon
shedding water like New Year's coins
to swing out in harmony
soaring toward our brothers
the mountains who stand in renewal
waiting behind the skyscrapers'
wide-mouthed steel
for our return
through the holy gate
Hong Kong reclaimed.

Candice Kelsey’s debut book of poetry, Still I am Pushing, releases March 6th with Finishing Line Press. Her poetry has appeared in Poets Reading the News, Poet Lore, North Dakota Quarterly, and many other journals. Her first micro chapbook, The Pier House is forthcoming with the Origami Poetry Project. A finalist for Poetry Quarterly's Rebecca Lard Award and Honorable Mention for Common Ground's 2019 Poetry Contest, Candice’s creative nonfiction was nominated for a 2019 Pushcart Prize. She is an educator of 20 years' standing, devoted to working with young writers.

Statement by Featured Artist, Shelley Thomas: At first, I was first struck by the physicality of the poem. Stanzas opening, mirrored, suggestive of an entrance to a grand gate. The open space between them. As I read and reread lines, I was taken on a journey through time, the past, present, and into a known future. There was something mythical, and epic unfolding; something both ancient and prophetic in the imagery. It read as a promise. The structure of the poem reminded me of an open shell, hinged halves widening. Symmetry. Balance.
Art: “Diptych,” 2016 (Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts)