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Stories of Guangzhou--Part One

Caleb Smith Avatar  Send Soup Mail  Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled Stories of Guangzhou--Part One which was written by poet Caleb Smith. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Stories of Guangzhou--Part One

One image that stands out to me in my travels,
is really quite a small thing compared to others.

My group was on  a train from Guangzhou to Beijing.
The countryside was spectacular ... nowhere land.
We had stopped at a tiny train station to walk around
and buy food we couldn't define from a few scattered vendors.
I was leaning against a pillar watching people.
I noticed my brother was grinning at two little girls ... no more than four or five.
They were giggling at him.
I supposed they were at the station out of boredom or curiosity,
obviously from a small village nearby.
My brother squatted and held out two tootsie-rolls.
After some serious deliberation between them,
they decided to take the candy.
What surprised me, and my brother, is what happened after.
Each raised a hand to the side of his head
and ran their fingers through his hair,
which was blonde and shoulder length.
Mine, also shoulder length, was nearly black
and of no interest to them.
It wasn't until we were back on the train
and I saw the surreal expression on his face,
that I realized these two girls had probably never seen blonde hair before.
And to this day, that moment, two village girls
with hands in Micah's hair,
Is carved in my mind ... unforgettable,
with feelings ... undefineable ... much like a ripple in time.


*Inspired, but not for, the Ripple in Time contest.

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  1. Date: 5/23/2013 10:44:00 AM
    I love reading your travel stories and find your free verse style engaging. It carries the story along-flawlessly. I agree with Heather. They would make a great Journal. SuZ

  1. Date: 5/13/2013 12:33:00 PM
    You definitely know how to tell a story! So this is that moment that you mentioned before, about those girls never seeing blonde hair before-- I love reading this, made it seem I was there and I can imagine how this memory is seared in your mind-- I like reading your stories, it gives us a different perspective on things--I bet those girls never forgot you and Micah either. I will read your other posts next time, will be back. & yes, hopefully I get to see that spectacle of nature someday...

  1. Date: 5/7/2013 9:04:00 AM
    Facinating story. Here in the United States a friend with red hair was visiting at some Korean friends home. They were facinated and wanted to touch it, too... saying in their country it was the sign of the devil. But they were friendly and only curious.

  1. Date: 5/6/2013 11:42:00 PM
    nette got it right. you are a marvelous spin weaver. Caleb, how many countries have you seen? You are really good at telling the stories of all these places. Looking forward to the next part of this one.

    Smith Avatar Caleb Smith
    Date: 9/17/2013 10:34:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Umm...7...counting the U.S
  1. Date: 5/6/2013 9:20:00 AM
    what a spin weaver you are... i love how this was paced with such a charming ending... a story like this paints a fine, distinct picture..:)

  1. Date: 5/4/2013 11:28:00 AM
    I'm really loving these true life stories mate. I wish I had more interesting TRUE stories to write about, but every now and then I'm inspired. You've been to a lot of places - lucky! You bring your own spice to the site with your narratives. I honestly don't care if it's poetry or not, WORDS are what is important to me.

  1. Date: 5/3/2013 1:29:00 PM
    i just dont understand how this culd be a poem:P.... while we are here, could u possibly write how ur name is pronounced? or tell me if it has any arabic origi? just out of curiosity:)

    Smith Avatar Caleb Smith
    Date: 5/6/2013 7:23:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    I don't understand how anything I write could be poetry....so I'm with you there...ha...seriously though, the line that defines poetry is very vague and can be interpreted differently by different people. What makes this a poem?...I don't know...it's really just a story...I like telling stories. Also, my name was given to me as a biblical name...and Smith is from my Irish side.
  1. Date: 5/3/2013 10:40:00 AM
    Lovely, Caleb. I enjoyed me trip there and seeing things through your eyes.

    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 5/3/2013 10:41:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    No matter what color, style, or texture every hair on our head is numbered, the Bible says. We are all His children and are joined in ways we can't even understand.
  1. Date: 5/3/2013 8:31:00 AM
    Another amazing write from you! I am really loving these narratives about your travels. I can relate to this one - When my sister and I were in Asia last year, we had perfect strangers taking pictures of our blonde hair. Nobody actually tried to touch it though - What an experience for your brother! You should combine these travel anecdotes into a journal - or a book of short stories.

  1. Date: 5/3/2013 7:49:00 AM
    Another great write on your travels with your brother. The girls running their fingers through his hair must have seemed really touching and surrealistic at the same time.