Sea water laps against the docks,
the bright, inclusive restaurants,
their gaily painted menus
selling their show
to passing tongues.
The air is good enough to eat,
lawa, babi guling,
cascading smells of soy and chili.
soundtrack the breeze.
Some places, its one guy strumming a guitar.
another, the tuneful choral chimes of gamelan.
A myna bird rocks on a branch,
converses with the deep loll of a gong.
An old woman perches against
the post office wall,
tenun woven cloths spread before her
their brown faces weathered like figs,
look out at the few moored boats
that appear and disappear
in swaying dock lights.
Signposts lead to pleasures great and small.
Sounds or sights, food or drink.
it’s a sorry night
when everyone’s not inebriated with something.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. His work has recently been published in New Plains Review, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review, and is upcoming in Louisiana Review, Columbia College Literary Review and Spoon River Poetry Review.