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In a world where “consciences turn into deserts,”
It is not possible to prevent desertification of the world,
Waking on a quiet night
Awake, the night clamors

The blue-black sky conceals a hallucinatory red
The light green curtains an empty white
The pendulum stops in fright
Reversed, the clock hands all point to flight

Silent night, dissipation in silence
The dark police van filled with rebels jolts along
People look on with distain as the sky turns fish-belly bright
A bloody rain falls on fields by bullets
As usual, a broken wall trembles under gray roof tiles
Children seek the sun amid sandbags
Chickens and ducks squabble over territory
The dream-forsaken village steals a wink of shuteye

Waking on a quiet night
Awake, the night recalls a dream in a dream
Unable to tell if it’s Phnom Pehn and its suburbs
Or the Bosnian border, Magherafelt in Northern Ireland
Unable to tell if it’s mountainous Tibet, southern Iraq
Or Eritrea Village outside Johannesburg
Some nations wake, some nations sleep, some nations
Are red-eyed, between waking and sleeping
Frenzy on a quiet night
Quiet on a frenzied night
Hair, eyes, nose, neck chest, abdomen,waist, belly,
hands, arms, legs, feet, toes
All jumbled together, obliterated by artillery fire
The silent night has another face
In Bangkok, New York, Paris, Moscow, Shanghai, Taipei
AIDS transmits through blood and fluids of the collective body
The human body is a garden bed for poppies and marijuana
Metropolitan men and women revel, licking parched lips
Famine is written in the bones of the impoverished children
The nuclear power plant laughs malignantly, waiting for the next meltdown
The painful wound in the ozone layer, bored, situated
Waking on a quiet night
Vanished are the world, continents, nations, people and their boundaries
Leaving only the skins to vie for color

On a quiet night, night wakes clamors
Wakefulness is a dream, dreaming in death or drinking in life,
after getting drunk, you still have to sober up
Dream of peace, dream or war, war dreams of peace
Like toy building blocks, piled as you please
Chaos, too, piles up as you please
Docile and silent, we are like toy building blocks
In the games of politicians and generals
Assembled we are, dispersed, collected, abandoned, beaten, ordered
Numbered, registered, graded, colored, categorized, arranged, defined
In some area of the night
At some longitude and latitude of chaos
In some dream we cannot comprehend
We firmly believe that we can dream of dawn

Awakened from a quiet dream
The world uses slipshod logic
Love and hate seek mutual warmth in their perpetual fight
In the frenzy of a dream
Sleeping soundly, we miss the dawn
As for the pendulum
It’s still there where it ought to be

On a quiet night
Yet not swinging

-Xiang Yang


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About kayaerbil

I am a Berkeley educated chemistry Ph.D. who is moving into the area of working on developing appropriate technology for communities that are subjected to socio-economic oppression. The goal is to use simple and effective designs to empower people to live better lives. Currently, I am working with Native Americans on Pine Ridge, the Lakota reservation in South Dakota. I am working with a Native owned and run solar energy company. We are currently working on building a compressed earth block (CEB) house that showcases many of the technologies that the company has developed. The CEB house is made of locally derived resources, earth from the reservation. The blocks are naturally thermally insulating, keeping the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Eventually, a solar air heater and photovoltaic panels will be installed into the house to power the home and keep it warm, while preserving the house off the grid. A side project while in Pine Ridge is a solar computer. I hope to learn about blockchain encryption software for building microgrids. In addition, it is an immediate interest of mine to involve local youth in technology education.
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