A new and jasmine-scented wind was blowing
over and through the part of Asia in which we lived
but it did not affect everyone: only
those who had purchased vouchers
reaped any benefit For the rest it was the same old story
of ancient cultures assailed by new ways of filling in
the time between conception and interment
or as happened in many cases
between being made before the neighbours started to say
it had been left too late
and later placed on a mountain ledge to be dismantled
by birds of prey But I suspect you’re wondering
what this new and jasmine-scented wind meant
if anything can be said to mean anything
What can I tell you?
In classrooms and juice bars throughout the region
young people who know more than their parents
but less than they think they know
preferred not to discuss the wind
and many of them had not noticed it
for their eyes were fixed on their phones
and one moment is very much like another Anyway
when the wind was blowing
it became necessary for a short while
to shut down the airports and to ground all avian life
for so-called safety reasons though the latter proved
tricky as the government had no jurisdiction
though it insisted it did Looking back
on those windy days it seems
the wind described as new and jasmine-scented
meant nothing much at all and was
neither new nor jasmine-scented
The government and state-owned media just said it was
But the voucher system was a winner
We have had many enquiries
and it seems likely a new issue will be
available in the New Year
and will almost certainly be used in some other context –
perhaps to raise public awareness of
something irrelevant yet diverting


Martin Stannard
Illustration Nick Victor

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    1. how do i get a voucher?

      Comment by jezdobbs on 14 October, 2016 at 10:30 am

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