Heather Gatley

Catching Colours
with Susan

On perfect days, 27 degrees,
not too much sun,
a taxi up the preposterous mountain
to the house of Sahar.
Beautiful coloured scarves,
tunics, cloth and jewels
and a turtle in his tank
watching the joy.
From the window,
the quiet jungle, not a breath of wind,
no earthquake or typhoon,
only enormous butterflies,
stately, in slow motion.
And a taxi down to Sogo,
cosmetics and lunch,
and stories of old, old days with you.
And yet there were no better days than these,
nothing was asked of us,
and everything.
But giving comes easy here,
because you are with me,
catching the colours of memory.
This day in Tienmu.

Ms. Yang

She comes in upright, dark haired.
pretty as a kitten.
I beckon her to the room,
the ironing board piled with clothes:
the summer dresses I shall weep over,
the failed shoes, some new.
She is petite and young,
has hung out of thirteenth floor windows
dressed in black,
nimble as a ninja.
Unafraid on her moped,
withdrawing mops and brooms
from the compact seat
like Mary Poppins,
depositing her pink helmet,
she arrives with a laden bag,
changes into athletic gear,
and cleans my house
while I sit here.
Ms. Yang:
My helper of four years.

Heather Gatley is a retired English literature teacher who likes to write about her travels. You can read more of her work in the online magazine She was born in Cyprus and has lived in Singapore, Peru, El Salvador, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, The Netherlands, Wales, and Taiwan.

She has four chapbooks of
poetry available on

Indigo Sky (about Wales); 

Tombs of Gold (England);

Last Boat to Brienzersee (Europe)

The Cliffs at Qingshui (Asia), Twin Soul, in collaboration with Deborah Nash Ott is available on Amazon.

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