An Oriental Smörgåsbord

regarding the nature of Lunar New Year gatherings.


Not at a restaurant. Definitely not,
Rather a personal, familial touch 
Someone’s house was chosen,
With a dash of warmth, of course.

The known faces trail in at times
Far spaced apart,
Wondering from the impending dusk 
Outside, to this inner marketplace
That has just opened, what with 
A Potluck of dishes, splayed across the table
Advertisement of a superior culinary skill,
Each to his own chef; but all to gorge 
On everything. 

The variety of the relatives is as great as this,
This flamboyant display of non-green vegetables,
Vague marine cuisine, roasted poultry, food,
By all, for all, and all in all quite splendrous.


After eight eternities of rounds after rounds,
As much food is devoured, only then 
Is the table hastily sanctified, purified
Of gastronomical stains.

Everyone is long dispersed, scattered
Around the spaces left for humans:
Engaging in private talk, emitting
Quiet laughs periodically, without request;
Gathering around the story-guy, perhaps
The classic all-too-experienced relative
Eager to retrieve some unforgotten file
Deep in his memory, to expand on it;
Watching an arduously selected programme
Or movie, on a specially large screen.

One could not find it easy to call this group
Related. Let for a few, with blatant traits
Displayed in distinct facial features, no clue
Is given, as to the nature of our ties.
Some shuffle, some tower;
Some babble, some cower
There could only be the rainbow to remain
As worthy competitor, to the spectrum 
Displayed vividly before me.

(other parts to be continued)


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