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BANGKOK/HANOI by Joy Magezis

                                                          Photo - Joy Magezis

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Golden Buddha splendour
resonating with Thai Chants
I join in vibration
at home in foreign land

Suddenly in majority
of black haired Buddhists
I find deep peace
sitting on Temple floor

Bangkok towers sprawl
between dilapidated homes
Posh Air Con Malls
and Humid Market Stalls

Pollution blocks the sun
Skywalks above teeming masses
King powered nation
Skytrain speeds on

Such friendly smiles
We all bow with ease
Buddhist well wish
and Capitalist drive

River bustling artery
boat called by whistle
longtail, pirate, tour
express boat that stops

We jump on
crowded with mix
Monks, shoppers, tourists
Thai, foreign together

Lunch at water's edge
I can say 'not hot'
Anabel and I share
synchronicities in our lives

Bargaining at bazaar
Dad would be proud
Thai silk beauty
in parents' gift to me


                                                        Photo - Joy Magezis


Hanoi bustle
Learnt to cross street
Focus and trust
walk slowly forward

Walking meditation
on Hanoi streets
silent solidity
in midst of buzz

Motor bikes zoom
everyone sells
food, fruits, all goods
we breathe by

Down to the lake
along the path
Traffic whizzes
Water softly ripples

I choose the lake
Green growth
Pagoda centre
Being the beauty


Joy Magezis travelled to Hanoi as a member of the official delegation of Zen Master, author and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh. His return to Vietnam after 39 years of exile was a moving experience, which she recorded in a series of poems in her new book, The Universe for Breakfast -

Joy worked for many years as a college lecturer. Her introductory book on women's studies has been published internationally. She now works as a Reiki Master teacher and practitioner. -