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The Journey to the West

Though we journey to the West We pray to the East More or less that's the way Each day begins and ends It’s a tale everyone ...

Friday, August 26, 2011

On Mutual Longing

This is my translation of a poem by the Song Dynasty poet Lin Bu. I don't know much about him. Supposedly he lived the life of a recluse and turned down successive requests to attend upon his Majesty the Emperor. According to one source, although he lived as a solitary hermit, Lin considered himself betrothed to his plum trees and together with them is said to have sired a child who was a snow white crane. I can't swear to the biographical accuracy of this story, but in any case I consider this to be an incredibly beautiful poem.

On Mutual Longing

The Wu Mountains
Are clothed in green
So too are the Yue

On both sides
The green hills
Regard each other
In uneasy greeting

As if such like beings could somehow
Overcome the distance and feelings
Holding them apart

The gentleman weeps
Without restraint
So too does the lady

The same feelings
Swaddle their separate hearts
While remaining unfulfilled

The river of tears
Rises to equal level
Atop the distant banks

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ode to THC

What’s been said
About youth
Is equally true
About drugs
Being wasted
On the young

Take it from me
My son
You really need
A little seasoning
To fully appreciate
The improved reasoning
That comes with THC

And to be able
To speak truth
To weakness and power alike
And never by flattery
To be seeking advancement

Always haphazardly
Proceeding through life
Though it’s not quite a random thing
The way I take a hit or two
While walking around the block

Sunday, August 14, 2011

As Yet Without a Title (for Marissa)

A rainy day
On my way home
Down West 28th
I stopped to consider
The water accumulating
In the detritus clogged drain
Above the uptown stop of the IRT train

You know the whole damn block
Is so lush and green
With palm fronds and rare orchids
Like a rain forest it casts off petals
By the bushel per hour
Being by far the most tropical part
Of the Midtown South Precinct

Then there comes a shift
In the spectrum of light
To yellow from green
With the rain-streaked taxis
Parked along both sides thanks
To the Ramadan crowds
In the Mosque
North one street

These and other things
I've noticed on my rounds
To and from the studio
Ambling for enlightenment
Every neighborhood provides a motive
For a longer sojourn
But here in particular
I'm held enthralled

Home being where a man
Dares and feels the need
To show both his most masculine
And feminine sides
This petal strewn block
Is the very place where
I've had full recourse
To expose both of mine