Insignificant is the life that trudges out
Amidst the slow incoming tide:
The vapid stupor of a daily train ride,
The desiccated flowers of a moldy vase,
The silent rains that threaten to fall on an island
Suffocated by the humid pantings of the middle-aged
And the dying who in their eyes see the clouds,
And in their hearts know the inevitable,
But in their mouths would never admit it.
This is the end.
What solemnity that drips forth
From the chequered cotton on those laundry poles,
What silence that drifts from luncheon meat ashtrays,
The solitude that blazes from the burning joss of a bin,
How they fade into clouds and
Wash into the grime of the longkangs.