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The Monkey King’s advice on how to deal as a Protector of Horses


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You don’t. Not well.

It’s a specific role,


somewhere between dogsbody

and scapegibbon. Who keeps

their Buddha-nature, realising

the sweat of their brow is ignored

when present/unmissed

when absent?


Not I. Not then.

Fight your way out, human,


upturn banqueting tables.

At the end you may get

swatted full-palm like a fly, but

you won’t be grooming

horses for peachpits. You can


stand as equal to your gods,

though perhaps


not quite like

a Great Sage

Equal to Heaven.

May Chong is a bi Malaysian poet/speculative writer with past work in The Willowherb Review, Channel Magazine and Fantasy Magazine. Away from the keyboard, she enjoys birdwatching, great stories and terrible, terrible puns.

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