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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Fujian Exodus
Raechelle Yballe   


And so these drops of blood,
splatter onto a sea -
red-tinged then pink,
watered down to clear.

It could never be enough,
I imagine, to breathe
the plagued Xiamen air
or to walk in the shade
of his father's robe, silken
carmine flapping in the breeze
that carried ships to Maynila
with his father's tieguanyin tea,
refined oolong of iron weight,
curving, supplicating leaves
offering heady fragrances
to some goddess of mercy

He must have craved a life
beyond the harbors of Fujian,
must have seen the omen
in leaves of tea perhaps
and guessed the promise
of lives beyond his own
among the Spanish ghosts.

© 2000 Raechelle C. Yballe
Many people of Chinese of descent in the South Pacific can trace their roots to the southern province of Fujian (Fukien). The Yballes, too, can trace their roots to a nineteenth century Chinese merchant named Fua probably from the city of Xiamen.
Fujian emperor
Fujian emperor, 4th century A.D. - Wall Hanging


Admiring the lines
of your body at play
I tried to picture
the place
your ancestors gazed out
over their ocean and sun
while mine were busy
planting potatoes…

© Jonathan Bohrn (1998)
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