The old man at the museum,

Which is really only

A small collection of

Wood carvings he did himself,

Is a few marbles short,

And he tries to get whatever

He can from whoever comes by,

Which isn’t very often.

Behind the school a few kilometers

Up a craggy trail is a stream,

That comes from a dirty pipe,

Next to the Buddha stone

That has incredible healing power,

So that’s why pregnant women

Rub the water on their children,

Or why it made two men very sick.

The red apartment complex behind

The internet cafe was supposed

To be a collection of four buildings,

But the workers got lazy,

Or a bureaucrat got greedy,

But now there is only one,

And that one is very nice and modern

But it is owned by the Chinese.

The beekeepers brought great things

With their combs and honey,

And everyone has a garden of their own,

So they built a root cellar,

Grand enough for the entire village,

But the digging suddenly stopped,

And passersby decided to repurpose

The hole to hold their refuse.

There are drunkards squatting

In the shade of convenience stores

Or in checkered shadows of fences,

Crushed cans and shattered bottles

Can be found ingrained everywhere,

They start as soon as someone

Will sell them a bottle of poison

And won’t stop until someone stops.

Everyone knows everyone else

Like some sort of cliché from

A forgotten time where I’m from,

So news travels as fast as an echo,

With reputations lasting longer

Than the reign of legends,

But the streets are empty with dust,

The sun your only companion.

Composed 07/13/2012

Author’s note: You sure do hear a lot of strange stories when you live in such a small village.

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Mongolian Writing (Prose)

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