I praise those ancient Chinamen
Who left me a few words,
Usually a pointless joke or a silly question
A line of poetry drunkenly scrawled on the margin
of a quick splashed picture–bug, leaf,
cariacature of Teacher–
on paper held together now by little more than ink
& their own strength brushed momentarily over it.
Their world and several others since
Gone to hell in a handbasket, they knew it–
Cheered as it whizzed by–
& conked out among the busted spring rain cherryblossom winejars
Happy to have saved us all.
Note: spelling is Whalen’s own