Red + Grey | Teen Ink

Red + Grey

January 6, 2022
By Random_Access BRONZE, Beijing, Other
Random_Access BRONZE, Beijing, Other
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Witness, the bricks are torn down one

by one today, the locust trees 

race along in the heat of the scorching sun.

I hear, the red that walls bleed.


By the clear water ridge I was born: sounds of the water

stream hollow in my ears, but now

the cranes in the sky have the power

of the Midas touch, to turn stone into big red bucks.

Now I turn to leave briskly to the most transparent city 

Under the florescent lights, there’s no fireflies

no silent nights, no black and white 

In every glow, there’s a red for sacrifice.

So this metropolis moves on and on

while I, spot the grey sojourning around me,

down beneath my feet, up above my head—

Hell, even the concrete jungle right around me.

Born under a Caribbean blue sky,

born next to the grappling green vines,

we refuge under the red and grey

but we seek no solace, we find no tranquil

in the roar of cars, the smell of bars, the neon lights

under the befouled skies, the cunning regime, the electric buzzing.

I can see days passed by me, I hold no grief

the pellucid sky that beams down to remind us, 

the glimmering waves splash alongside the howling stone lions 

to nudge us, to declare they hold no grudge on us

for the way we turned away, and smile spontaneously.

Witness, I discolor, and the city too.

Together, we meet in the middle, into a harmony of colors 

to leave behind the past pains, bittersweet sorrows

and race towards the embrace of the entwining highways

to move along, so life won’t pass me by.

Witness, an old man pedals on his grey bicycle

with ruby cherries in the basket, humming

the tune of delicate delight towards the falling sun,

purple magnolias in the wind fluttering

alongside the whistling locust trees.

The author's comments:

This piece is a sentimental retrospection towards the rapid urbanization process raging on in Beijing during the 2008 Olympics cycle. During the time, some of the surviving Hutong areas were demolished, forcing residents like me to move from siheyuan courtyards into multi-storied apartment buildings. Unable to adjust to this sudden drastic change, I became sentimental and nostalgic. The polluted skies, the electronic noise, and the concrete jungle suffocated me. I attempt to recapture the soul-searching journey of reconciling with myself and the environment I'm in through this poem.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Jan. 19 at 5:59 am
Rana-Hatem PLATINUM, Cairo, Other
26 articles 13 photos 40 comments

Favorite Quote:
Maybe you are searching among the branches, for what only appears in the roots

You're very talented. Beautiful piece.