Lunar New Year Poem “Prayer for the Year of the Horse”

This is the poem I wrote for the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce Asian American Business Council’s annual Lunar New Year luncheon. I was born in the year of the rat, and while doing my research for this poem, discovered that I share that Chinese Zodiac sign with President Noynoy Aquino of the Philippines. I understood from my research that 1960 was a “metal” year, making me a “metal rat.” However, I met a lovely woman at the luncheon, Mei Huey Huang, the Editor-in-Chief of the World Journal, who explained that in Chinese, the “metal” would certainly be “gold” — suggesting that President Aquino and I are indeed “golden rats.” I’ll have to write another poem about that. (You can read about the photo on the Santa Clara County Library’s Facebook page.)

Prayer for the Year of the Horse

for President Noynoy Aquino of the Philippines and me

Stay away from stress.
Don’t dress unconventionally.
Praise a horse when you see one,
praise his haughty neck or humble head.

Watch out for sharp objects.
Your mettle will be tested,
but knife wielding can cut both ways.

Wear green or brown,
the lucky colors of California hills.
But keep your hand on your dance partner,
your grip may slip
on the handle of romance.

Above all keep your ratty nose down,
whiskers twitching with keen sense.
Horses have beauty and speed, it’s true,
but you can escape under the fence.

In honor of the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce
Lunar New Year Luncheon

February 14, 2014
© Jennifer Swanton Brown