I wrote this poem a few years back, but it describes my current state of health pretty closely.  For the full effect, read with a hoarse voice and stuffed-up nose.


i’ve decided I hate the flu – i really do!
the soreness and aching,
the temp’rature taking
which tries to make me a believer that i’ve only got a fever
of 99.2
but i’m pretty sure that thermometer’s a liar
’cause it feels way higher
and i think i may slowly be going insane
’cause my cough’s such a pain
with its racking 
and its hacking
while all of the drugs that i take are in vain
and my head and my chest
are both tight and congest-
ed, and i’m faced with issues
like running out of tissues
(’cause my drippy nose never stops)
and having to bring cough drops
everywhere i go
and my eyes getting runny
– and NO!  it’s not funny!
’cause i don’t like being in pain and congested and woozy
and inconvenienced and fevered and fluzy

Won’t you come with me this Saturday
To the Shui Nan Market down the way?
It’s full of interesting things to see
So grab a bag and follow me.

We‘ll see colorful T-shirts for ladies and gents
With slogans in English that don’t all make sense.
Flat slabs of tofu are spread on a table
Beside packaged snacks with a Chinese label.
There are piles of bumpy-skinned chicken parts:
Drumsticks, livers, wings, and hearts!
Or how ’bout a net full of squirming frogs?
You can even find cute little outfits for dogs.

There’s the squeaky honk of the guy on his bike
With the cooler of ice cream – buy some if you like!
Mounds of tomatoes, swirled bright red and green,
More types of mangoes than you’ve ever seen,

Shiny long eggplants like purple snakes,
Stacks of sticky red bean suncakes.
We can munch free samples of salty fried fish,
Or slivers of squid from a shallow dish.

Corn on the cob’s being boiled in vats;
Fresh garlic sits piled in heaps on big mats.
There are earrings in black velvet cases displayed
Beside smooth round bangles of brown and green jade

Cartoon-shaped pancakes are sold on a stick –
Which Spongebob character will you pick?
There are so many choices and so much to see
So when are you coming to Shui Nan with me? 

Hsi Tou
by Annie Douglass Lima
God’s glory shows in all He’s made
I see it in the woods displayed
From mossy rocks in riverbed
To silver ferns in sunlight spread
And shrubs with shining leaves arrayed.
The green-clad mountains rising high
Loom misty-headed to the sky
Above the bamboo and the pines
All robed with lichen, draped with vines
Where brilliant blossoms catch the eye.
Cicadas’ piercing shrieks resound
Unseen, they fill the woods with sound
Bright black and yellow spiders sprawl
In tangled webs draped over all
While butterflies flit o’er the ground.
The forest, in a thousand ways – 
The shady glens, the slanting rays,
Each frond, each blade, each leafy limb – 
With one voice offers up a hymn
And lifts its hands in psalms of praise.