The wind in the bamboo
Is the melody, and the aluminum
fingers of the windchimes
Are the harmony. The cuckoo
Keeps the beat. The sparrows
Add to the chorus, the parrots
Add a shriek. The Maoists
Want to build roads through this sanctuary
And make it into a fourteen feet driveway.
They proclaim: asphalt is progress.
They force us to think: honks of a motorcycle
Will provide the same delight
To the human heart as the chirps
Of a finch. That the oversized cars
Of their political allies is reason enough
To shoo old people off the streets.
That the smell of petroleum
Will be adequate replacement for jasmine.


The rattle of a scooter, and the roar of a truck,
The giant rumble of capitalism, the heavy breath
Of concrete, the dirt of profit, all this
they think, will be able to replace
the chorus of life.