Don’t Drink The Water

Michael Cannon – Don’t Drink the Water © 2012

From temples on the six, we hear him call,
as myriad roosters cry chants of their own.
Kamben’d kin their well worn grins renowned.
Declaration of their heritage abound.

Rhythmic rambling, I wonder where they go?
Each avoiding the other – spellbinding show.
Incalculable writhing serpentine.
Intolerant foreigners with skin alabastrine.

‘Don’t drink the water’, he says, ‘just smile and be patient’.
‘Don’t drink the water’, a glint in his eye.
‘Don’t drink the water though it’s heaven sent.
‘Our way is our way, we don’t ask for your consent’.

Her tired market voice urges me ‘come shop here.
Why not barter my livelihood with your purse of rupiah?’
While a whisper away sad orphans ask my attention.
Homeless urchins – this will be their life’s conviction.

‘Don’t drink the water’, he says, ‘just smile and be patient.
‘Don’t drink the water’, a glint in his eye.
‘Don’t drink the water though it’s heaven sent.
Our way is our way, we don’t ask for your consent’.

In the street there’s a mange-ridden mongrel.
Tormented eyes tell of a life that must be hell.
Drifting miasma of waste my senses agonise.
Both homed and the unhomed exist in this flawed paradise.
Both homed and the unhomed exist in this flawed paradise.

‘Don’t drink the water’, he says, ‘just smile and be patient.
‘Don’t drink the water’, a glint in his eye.
‘Don’t drink the water though it’s heaven sent.
‘Our way is our way, we don’t ask for your consent’.

From temples on the six, we hear him call.