dVerse Poetics: Chinese New Year

Today over at dVerse Poets Pub, I am doing the poetics prompt for today. Since we are starting the Chinese New Year, I thought it would be fun to not only have some information about that wonderful festival, but also to use fortune strips from Fortune Cookies. There are four fortunes – the idea is to pick a fortune and write a poem about it and to give as a quote, the fortune. So, below is the fortune strip I chose. Come visit us, find out about the Chinese New Year and read some good poems. And….Since today is Mardis Gras (Fat Tuesday), I have to say “Laissez bon temps rollez!

public domain photo

public domain photo

Your Shoes Will Make You Happy Today
“Your shoes will make you happy today” Chinese fortune cookie strip

My favorite shoes make me happy everyday.
Hot pink with sparkles and images
of koi and geisha
peeping from the bottom of my jeans
or the black dress slacks I wear to church
or in the summer when they take me down
to the creek or across the way to the meadow
or the daily walk in the woods.

Size 5… koi… geishas
hot pink and sparkles
or the second favorite pair which is turquoise…
sparkles, samurai, koi…

Both pair of shoes always make me smile.
They made a little girl happy in Little Tokyo store
today. She saw me and then my shoes and
began pointing – Annie May! Annie May!
Tiny little Cambodian girl nestled in her father’s arms.
Annie May! he tried to shush her
but no. She pointed at me and
then my shoes.
I smiled at her hugely.
Her father explained he was a big fan of
the Bleach Anime’ series and that I had
the white hair of the series Character.
And I had such magic shoes.
He put the little mite of a child down
and she came over and hunkered down
patting my shoes approvingly.

Seems fortunes do come true sometimes.
My shoes made me very happy today.
When he left, she was waving over his shoulder –
bye bye Annie May
bye bye shoes!

I waved and called after her:
*bratan pr dl anak!

*Khmer for “bless you”.


public domain image

public domain image


In case you missed January 1…..

There is still time to suck down some noodles, pick at some peas, grab some grapes, and cash in on some green(s).  For those of you who keep time to the Julian calendar, your day is January 14. The Chinese New Year rings February 10 – 11 (year of the snake, baby) and for those of you who really like to push the late New Year envelope, try Chaul Chnam Thmey April 13.  The Khmer New Year this go around is year of the dragon.  I think dragon trumps snake and I’ll go with Chaul Chnam Thmey.

Not only do you have a chance to chow down on lucky noshes, you have several chances to make and break resolutions and redeem yourself – again.  I myself, like new beginnings, especially when I get several chances to begin again, and again….

Now about those black eyed peas folks are always griping about.  If you dump them out of a can, like most stuff you just dump out of a can, the results will be a most memorable memory of blahblahblah.   I myself, being a true daughter of the south, picked my peas at the end of the summer and while fresh and sweet, I froze them away for future use.  Sweet and al dente, these peas please.  I put some water in a pot, add a bit of salt, a nice piece of ham, smoked ham hock, salt pork, streak of lean…..let boil until the water is a nice porky broth.  I then add the peas, cover, and let cook until tender.  The peas and broth put into a bowl and eaten with hot, well buttered cornbread and paired with a big glass of sweet tea (a bold yet winsome Luzianne 2012) makes most anybody happy.

BTW:  Why are black eyed peas lucky?  According to ancient Southern legend, during the war of northern aggression, the town of Vicksburg was surrounded and food had run out.  In an amazing discovery, bags of dried peas were found.  The townspeople were saved from starvation. I take no responsibility for this tale, but I was told by a friend from Miz-zippi, that this is true.  I have no reason to doubt her word.  She has always been truthful, especially that time she and her husband took me snipe hunting.  I didn’t catch anything in my bag but I was told that was because I didn’t whistle it in right.

Or, you can do as a lot of Asians and eat noodles – the longer the better.  However, be warned:  the noodle must make it to the mouth whole.  “Toshi-koshi” as the Japanese say, from one year to the next.  Years ago, myself and one of the members of the 11/16 Society enacted that scene from Lady and the Tramp with an amazingly long soba noodle.  No meatball, but at the end of that noodle, we didn’t care.  That was definitely a lucky food for 01/01/85.

Circular foods are always good for lucky eating – no break, eternity, full cycle……you get the drift.  After the black eyed peas and cornbread, I would suggest a luxurious round dessert:  donut and ice cream.  The method:  take a Krispy Kreme donut (another southern delicacy that has migrated around the world) and carefully warm in a pan with a few pats of melted butter.  Remove from pan and top with ice cream of your choice.  Enjoy with a big mug of chickory enhanced coffee and a big splash of half and half.  Yowzer y’all.

Happy New Year, as many times as you can find on the calendar.   Noodles, donuts, grapes, peas, whatever……But if you must make resolutions, then resolve to be happy, be kind, find excuses to laugh, make new friends.  Live long and prosper.





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