Yesterday, I became a blogger. Today, I published my first page on the world wide web. This is the image I published on the web, and here is the poem I published along with some information about me. I wrote the first draft of the poem in autumn 2002 whilst I was waiting for my grandson’s birth. Rupert Sebastian (or Kai Chiang to his Taiwanese relations) was born on the 3rd of November 2002 in Teipei City. His mother, one of four sisters, knew that she was expecting a boy.
Photograph by Kamsin Alexander
To My Grandson
Slung between cultures, your cradle is rocked
Between two islands half a world apart;
Your Taiwanese grandmother’s shaken and shocked;
Her daughter’s betrothal has broken her heart.
Forsaking tea houses where your forbears fled,
You may come to England to make a new start;
She makes chicken soup to counter her fear
Whilst I long to hold you and play a small part.
The tribes of Europe have mingled and merged
Through conquest and change of location;
Shamrock, flamenco, a Russian Jew’s smile,
Bed down with developing nation.
The future belongs to small people like you,
As east meets with west you’ll surely win through.