Friday, January 17, 2020

INSPIRATION 


How
shape

what
know

nothing
left.



THE MOUSE 


The mouse of your
passion, I hear

it rustling there
in the leaves. Come

out, come out, says
the hungry hawk.



AFTER THE CHINESE MASTERS 

AFTER SOME LINES
BY CHENG HSIEH

A dog barks
at the falling stars

and wind darkens
the distant sound of flute.

~

REARRANGING SOME LINES
OF "IN THE WILDS, A DEAD DOE"
FROM THE SHIH CHING

She is urgent
as spring, pretty

as jade. She is
ready for you,

but go slow. Don't
make the dogs bark.

~

REARRANGING SOME LINES
FROM CHU YAUN'S "LAMENT FOR
YING" IN "THE NINE DECLARATIONS"
OF THE CH'U TZ-U

I follow the wind,
follow the stream,

my heart knotted,
leaving home.

~

REARRANGING SOME LINES
FROM "WALK ON WALK ON AGAIN"
IN THE YUEH-FU'S NINETEEN
ANCIENT POEMS

A wanderer
doesn't arrive,

doesn't return.
Thinking of you

has made me old.
And suddenly

it's evening.

~

AFTER SOME LINES
FROM "O HEAVENS!"
OF THE YUEH-FU
FROM THE HAN DYNASTY

When the mountains
wear down,

when the rivers
dry up,

when winter
thunders

and it snows
in summer,

when you can't tell
earth from sky,

only then
would I leave you.

~


Thursday, January 16, 2020

TONIGHT, POETS 


You want it
to make sense

but you don't
know it will.

Keep singing
and say

God-damn.
Recite

your poems
and fly

away home.



THEY ARE ALL 


They are all
poems about love

or about loss,
or perhaps

love is loss,
loss is love,

Or perhaps
what we want

is what we
cannot have,

and that is
what this is

all about.



Wednesday, January 15, 2020

THE OWL 


The owl
knows
the night.

Wisdom
is a
soft-

feathered
flight
through

darkness
to that
quietest

of moments,
a mouse.



LET ME 


Let me
unbutton you.

Let me
find the place

that shivers
the silver

sear of our
loving.

Let me
say with my hands,

my lips, what
cannot be said

without you.



Tuesday, January 14, 2020

THE PEARL 


I have seen
the pearl
which gleams.

The world
shines in its
loveliness.

Look away,
you lose your
place in it.



HIS POEMS 


Each was thinner,
meeker, more full

of emptiness
until at last

the silence, when he
had nothing more

he wished to say.



Monday, January 13, 2020

POET 


He is
none other

than he
has always

been, a
maker

of poems
in the cold

solitude
where poems

are made.



AFTER THE CHINESE MASTERS 


AFTER SOME LINES
BY LIN HUNG

Moon above
the river.

I think of
you tonight.

~

AFTER 'WINE CUP
AND BRIGHT MOON'
BY SHEN CHOU

The moon falls
out of the sky

into my cup
of wine. When

the wine is gone
the moon is too,

and life goes on.

~

AFTER SOME LINES
BY T'AN YUAN-CH'UN

Trees
cannot hide

the moon's
sorrow.

Autumn
comes across

the river.

~

AFTER SOME LINES
BY CHU YI-TSUN

When the wind
dies the trees

stand idle.
The monks have

nothing to
do but eat

their supper.

~

AFTER SOME LINES
BY NA-LAN HSING-TE

The west wind
ages the maples.

To whom can I
speak of grief?

~


RAGGED- 


Ragged-
ness is
the only

promise
of this
effort,

that words
fall which
way they

will with-
out care
for any-

thing but
themselves,
certainly

not for
the instructions
of those

who would
restrict
our silence.



Sunday, January 12, 2020

DESIRE 


This is
what I

want, this
wanting.

Blessings
on those

who leave
me that.



INSIDE THE STONE 


Inside the stone
is a light which

makes the world.
Come down to

the water and see,
it says, though

it doesn't say where.



Saturday, January 11, 2020

AFTER DREAMING 


Let's assume
the sky flies
and the hawk

stays still.
The wind knows
nothing

of distance.
The cries of
small creatures

can barely
be heard and
the grasses

are gods. Such
is the world
I wake to.



LAST INSTRUCTIONS 


And when you think
the silence

has gone out
of you, cut

yourself open
and listen.



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