Monday, February 24, 2020

DO NOT LISTEN 


Do not listen to the djinn.
The wind is not your friend.



IS IT 


Is it
figurative

language
to speak of

numbers, or
women, or

the algebra
of desire?



Sunday, February 23, 2020

FAMILY ALBUM 


If the old
photographs

did not fade
how would we

know that when
the dead are

dead they are
gone from us.


Saturday, February 22, 2020

A MOURNING DOVE 


A mourning dove
in the long

early light calls
and keeps on

breaking God's heart.



Friday, February 21, 2020

WE ARE 


bandits
of morning,

raiders
of dawn,

poets
of hope.

We face
the sun

like hawks,
waiting,

and for
prayer

we count
our blessings.



AFTER THE CHINESE MASTERS 

AFTER LIU TSUNG-YUAN'S
"RIVER SNOW"

All these mountains
and no birds.

All the trails
and no one on them.

Here, an old man --
hat and raincoat, boat --

fishing the cold river
in snow, alone.

~

AFTER RWAN JI'S
"SPRING FEELINGS"

I'm sleepless
tonight. I rise
and play my guitar.

I can see the moon
through the curtains
and breeze rustles

my clothes. Somewhere
a lone goose calls.
Birds cry out

in the dark woods.
Then I'm pacing,
wondering what

do I want
alone here with
my wounded heart.

~

AFTER BAI JUYI'S
"NIGHT SNOW"

I am surprised
by how cold

my pillow
and covers

are, and by
brightness at

the window.
Tonight's snow

is heavy
and sometimes

I can hear
the hard crack

of trees out
there snapping.

~

AFTER BAI JUYI'S
"SPRING SLEEP"

Soft pillow, warm covers,
he's still in bed.

The sun is at the door,
the curtains not yet open.

A green taste in the air.
Spring comes even

while you're sleeping.

~

AFTER BAI JUYI'S
"ON THE LAKE (1)"

Two monks sit
playing chess

on the mountain.
The shadow

of a tree
marks their board.

Neither monk
notices.

Sometimes you
can hear them

make their moves.

~


Thursday, February 20, 2020

FARM BOY AT SUNSET 


The foolish
young man

thinking he can
be a poet,

a weed among
flowers.



Wednesday, February 19, 2020

IS IT ENOUGH 


Is it enough
for the poet,

like a man
loving his wife,

simply to point
where he is going?



Tuesday, February 18, 2020

THE CRANES HAVE 


The cranes have
already

turned grey, turned
south towards

their winter home.



VIEW FROM SOUTH MOUNTAIN 


From the top of
South Mountain
I see

North Mountain
and everything
between,

the city,
the desert,
the cactus,

dust the color
of blossoms.



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