Paper Boats

ChiangKaiShek-MemorialHall-LanternFestivalThere’s a land somewhere beyond these mountains tall
that’s covered in a veil of joy;
and once every year, all the people there stand
by the shores of their great big silver sea
and wait for the paper boats to come.

You look at me with secret eyes
but we both know that the truth is long gone.

Oh, take me back to
red flowers and white petals,
to the floating lights we would make;
back to pink paper cranes and white candle hearts,
and let me sing you all the songs of the moon
while we row
down this river of yesterday.

When morning came I found myself
all alone in the sea.
And paper boats floated
on the waves
as though I’d made them in my sleep.

Oh, what I wouldn’t give
to go back to the floating lights!
To red paper cranes and white candle hearts
and all the nights we sat together
by sandy shores,
singing songs to the big blank moon
while all the stars dreamed on.

Wooden stalls and noisy crowds;
loud drums roaring,
cymbals crashing,
voices lifting in cacophonic harmony…

Can’t you remember? All those years
that we spent adrift down this river?
Candles lit up the night
while you taught me a song of scissors and glue,
and floating lights shone on all sides
of the sky.

Oh, the clouds were gray but the flowers bright
when we made our own
paper boats
and sent them from this riverside
way down towards the sea;
while all the others had been busy searching
for their paper planes
up in the sky.

And you gave me glue
and a pair of scissors,
and showed me how to fix the world…

Oh, will you please just take me back
to red paper cranes and white candle hearts
and all those nights we spent adrift
these silver seas…

Back then when all was light and clear
and our hearts were free.


Anonymous F.