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The Night Market

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Below is the poem entitled The Night Market which was written by poet Heather Ober. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The Night Market

If you wait until the sun goes down,
a thousand suns will rise.
Artificial, bright, igniting
tangled clouds in smoggy skies,
and flooding dingy streets
with fluorescent streams of light
that carry waves of people,
cresting, crashing, clashing 
across mismatched sidewalks.
They speak in foreign tongues
that lick like wild flames
and burn with glowing strangeness
as cockroaches skulk and scurry
beneath makeshift stands
where pairs of busy hands
prepare the strangest foods,
from skewered squid and snakes
to crepes and pineapple cakes,
cubes of deep-fried tofu
and the freshest dragon fruit.
Watch them badger, hear them barter
over onyx rings and jade bangles
beside rose quartz beads that dangle
from scratched display cases.
The market throbs with energy,
a living entity that swallows me.
And when I think I've lost myself,
I focus on that giddy sound,
the universal language
that transcends all others.
They laugh, and I smile.

*Based on a night market I visited in Taiwan last year

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  1. Date: 7/13/2013 8:22:00 AM
    I really enjoyed retreading this one, it truly is magical,

  1. Date: 5/30/2013 9:50:00 PM
    Heather, Congratulations with your awesome winning free verse poem... xox~ LINDA

  1. Date: 5/30/2013 7:18:00 PM
    Great piece. I can see the market in my head as i read this piece. Must have been great to be there and witness it in person. Enjoyed the read.

  1. Date: 5/29/2013 1:44:00 PM
    this is so tangible and vivid and really immerses the reader in the sights, sounds and smells of this bustling night market, I like the rhyme sprinkled throughout the's hard to believe you only started writing poetry a year ago as you're such an accomplished poet - congrats on your win (I would've placed it much higher) :)

  1. Date: 5/28/2013 8:08:00 PM
    You make it a very colourful, interesting and exciting place, Heather. Congratulations on your win.-Red

  1. Date: 5/28/2013 6:54:00 PM
    congrats on your win in the contest. take care cory

  1. Date: 5/28/2013 6:44:00 PM
    Well written piece! Kim

  1. Date: 5/28/2013 6:33:00 PM
    So colorful and full of lovely alliteration which makes such nice mouth music..Congrad's on your win! Light & Love

  1. Date: 5/21/2013 2:44:00 PM
    A word creation worthy of an episode of "Bizarre Foods".... Well written and delicious to many senses.... Really nice going.... Jake

  1. Date: 5/10/2013 11:40:00 AM
    Super write Heather!!

  1. Date: 5/8/2013 8:42:00 AM
    Just dropping by to say hello. I enjoyed reading this one again.

  1. Date: 5/8/2013 7:26:00 AM
    Fantastic description, Heather... simply wonderful... Terry

  1. Date: 5/5/2013 12:28:00 PM
    i like the energy of this piece... vivid and full of life... wondefully scribed!..:) huggs

  1. Date: 5/3/2013 7:54:00 AM
    it is a straight forward and interesting poem with lots of elaboration of its theme."they laughed and I smiled"good work here,keep it up.

  1. Date: 5/1/2013 4:56:00 PM
    You have moved the streets with all of its lights and liveliness into words.. I enjoyed reading you!

  1. Date: 5/1/2013 8:01:00 AM
    Good one from you. Please don't stop at visiting a night market in Taiwan, endeavor to see one here in Africa. You will be amazed and I promise to be your tour guide. Thanks

  1. Date: 5/1/2013 8:01:00 AM
    I have never been to Asia but this is how I imagine the markets. Great visuals you made me smell and see the sights.

  1. Date: 4/30/2013 7:07:00 PM
    I feel as if I am there.......hearing the noise, the people, the smells of food and sweat, the exchange of money and laughter, and hustle and bustle. What an experience have taken us with you!

  1. Date: 4/30/2013 5:07:00 PM
    Reminds me of Pike Place Market here in Seattle. Love the descriptions.

  1. Date: 4/30/2013 1:24:00 PM
    This remind me of China town in NY city at night. Going at night is one of the best experiences I had. Thank you for taking me back there with you beautiful words.