I spread my hand against the cold surface of the window as I watch him offer the first bill to the flames. I can see crowd chanting. Hear them faintly. The focus has risen in most of their eyes.

Burn Your Money

He moves his arms and they are louder.

Burn Your Money!

He holds up his offering and offers himself. The red bath is cold and old and he tucks himself fetus shaped below the surface of the liquid. A woman squats before the fire and offers another bill. Another man burns a cheque. Faces fight to stay composed as his body breaks the surface and he gulps for air.

What he does not breathe is offered to the flames. In the place where it was once guarded by guns, money turns to smoke. The tellers are long gone, we withdraw poetry from the bank machine and the lithe and shimmering shaman wraps himself in a towel. As the crowd loosens and breaks away the old Royal Bank is different. It is ours now.

Later we walk home charged by the camaraderie of ritual and across the ocean the Asian stock market has opened and begun to drop. In the next two days the European and Western markets respond similarly. Within weeks several Asian banks close their doors and fifty billion US dollars changes hands to prevent the cashing-in of Asian investment.

What is forged can be melted when we offer ashes to the wind.

 YZO FORUM ARCHIVES