Thursday, July 30, 2009

Looking At the World Through Different Eyes

It's interesting that Looney blogged about faces today because I was just talking with my neighbor about this. It's so interesting how we as caucasians look at people compared to how other races do. For example, when my husband was doing business in Northern China one time, his wallet was stolen at the train station. He chased the guy, but was unable to catch him. When he reported the theft to the police, they asked him to give a description of the thief. His description was something like this: "Black hair, dark eyes, chinese eyes." The police went on to ask him more details like, "Did he have a high forehead? Was his nose thin or flat? What kind of cheekbones did he have?" It's interesting how caucasians tend to identify each other by hair and eye color, and ignore many of the other features.

As I was thinking about this subject, and how we look at people, I remembered a poem (prose) I wrote many years ago, after I came home from my mission to Taiwan. There are a few awkward parts that I should change, but for now, here is the awkward version.

Taiwan--From Different Eyes

1. Upon Arrival

Briskly walking, always hurried,
Crowding close to rush along.
Hot breathed shouting, almost barking,
Beckoning with voices rasped.

Screeching taxis, horns keep knudging.
Black coughed smoke fills matted air.
All confusion, buildings towering,
Doors sealed closed on dirt-streaked walls.
Lights keep clicking, people pushing,
Take a breath, look past their eyes.

2. Upon Leaving

Latter-day ancients with soft mellow voices
Stretching forth smiles and warm weathered hands.
Shy eyes with slanting, yet smiling wide creases.
Knowledge, hope, culture, and history dwell there.

Tea cups, incense, and bright day time markets.
Taiwanese children with white cocoa skin.
Thin wrinkled old ones and tiny round new ones
Both clasping wisdom from quite different realms.


Amber said...

i liked this, you could really get a sense of what it was like :) good descriptions!

Looney said...

Nice poem. I have spent most of my life among Chinese so that I feel it is more foreign to be looking at Caucasian faces. In spite of this, I would probably not be any better providing a description than your husband!

Inklings said...

I like your poems too, and I would be terrible at providing descriptions because I am not observant enough.