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Lao Zhoushan
(Old Zhoushan)

six poems & six photographs

by Leon Sun
Zhoushan, China and San Francisco, U.S.A.

All across China, old districts of cities and villages are being razed to make way for new "modern" structures. Last year, while visiting the city of Zhoushan in Zhejiang Province, I was fortunate enough to be taken by a local friend on a tour of the old section of the city, parts of which were being demolished even as we were walking though them. I believe that by the time I returned to the United States and developed my film, the old section was completely gone. The following are photographs that I took on the tour (September '98). The poems were written later (January, '99) as an accompaniment to the photographs.

How many times ... How many times
have I looked out this window
Angry that the sun never reaches
I come to see
my old friend for the last time
before my journey
into the blinding light
It's summer
and I feel the stone floor
under my feet
I will save the memory
of its coolness
so when winter comes
I won't complain
about the cold
Two friends
find each other
for the first time
when the sea washed away
around them
goes on in

It would be a shame
to clean things
up too much
Who who who Ha

Who are these old spirits
hiding between dark curves
and lurking inside deep cracks?

Who are these old spirits who laugh
even as they are being
stripped naked?

Who do these spirits think they are
trying to tell me who I am
when I am becoming
who I will be?

Lives that once passed
through your door
Hands that so carelessly
and lingered
Now leave you
to face time

Also by Leon Sun:

Published in In Motion Magazine January 24, 1999.