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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 ...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Poem for David

Around about
This time of year
That marks the first
Of frost

I went down on my hands
And knees in the garden
Digging out on
What I could only hope
Would be the first
Of many such similar
Occasions in the
Rapidly oncoming
Year of the Tiger

I noticed myself
In the midst of this
Taupiary display
Of decaying things

A hardy handful
Of surviving
Dried blossoms
That had endured
The long hard winter
And made it through
To see this first burst
Of glorious Spring

Beauty appearing
Out of nowhere
That had been
Standing there
In plain sight
But unseen for
The longest while

How these slowly
Drying things
In our midst
The azaleas
And hydrangeas
From last year’s garden
Still retain an
Austere glory

You need not
Take my word for it
But first just
Open your eyes
And your mind
To this wonderful thing

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What I Owe Du Fu

Only by reading
You in Chinese
Did I discover the
Path to poetry
Through direct struggle
Gleaning feeling first
Before puzzling out
Each character’s meaning

Whereas with
Auden or Eliot
It seemed to work in reverse
For outcome less certain
Or so much the worse
Slogging through
Evident meaning
In order to grasp
As at straws
For what may
Once have been felt

So poetry came
That much easier
Once I abandoned
My native tongue
Where glib understanding
No longer barred the way

And only by following
Your path did I discern
The grammar of my
Own Mother Tongue
Where meaning and feeling
Come together as one

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Poem For My Valentine

Handmade by Tumbalina
I gave my love
This pin/button card

Love cubed pinned
To the outside
These words I wrote on
On the blank
Folio page inside:

To say but once
How much I love you
Then I’ve just barely begun

To say it twice is
Better but it still
Won’t suffice

It always takes
Three times or more
To say how much
Je t’adore

‘Cause that’s how much
I love love love you