Poem of the Month
Rua da Felicidade

By Ken Norris

Published on June 2, 2014

Walking down Rua da Caldeira,
on my way to the Street of Happiness.

Rua da Felicidade.
These narrow two blocks
were the hub of the infamous
Macau red-light district
back in the twenties and thirties, and after.
It’s hard to believe
that all that fabled wickedness
radiated out from here,
this short street where one now finds
a few Chinese restaurants,
a few red-doored dwellings
inhabited by elderly Chinese
(when they were young
what did they see, what did they do?)
and a whole raft of bakeries and sweet shops.
Cookies and sweets having replaced
who knows what lost sweetnesses?

Friends, it’s a surprise
to all of us
that this book could possibly end
on the Street of Happiness.

More Poetry

Song of the Canister’s Contents

After we thinned out we joined clouds
darkening cleared land and then
we were the shadows of those clouds
crossing open heaths.


Indeed you miss the point, my friend. It does stand stubbornly guarding mile after mile of soft and useless dust and wind out of the north with a low whine and the lying mouth of the news— the bitch!—the words and weather both are cutting.

The Tundra at last

The Tundra at last
Resound my heart
Your music, the river
Your light, the stars
Your carpet, the lichen’s tender green