Magazine article Chinese Literature Today

Two Poems

Magazine article Chinese Literature Today

Two Poems

Article excerpt

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West Lake Journey

Before returning home to get married he asked me

where do you want to go

I'd read you from the other shore of the Pacific

the you in Bai Juyi's and Su Dongpo's poems

So I said Let's go to the West Lake

We went from Nanjing to Hangzhou

Stepping from one mist into another

That day your water was silver gray and white We

walked on the Su Causeway

Beneath swaying willows I began to dance,

holding his hand I began to dance We walked into the

afternoon and it began to rain

We got on a boat and I leaned against the boat's red

wooden rail

He leaned against me

Dancing pearls of white rain wildly entered the boat1

We were between clouds and cloud reflections floating

Ten years later we slept with our son beside the lake

The sound of night waters entered our sleep

Our son dreamed he was a goldfish in the lake

swimming alone toward the rising sun

When we awoke, the water was high and the clouds

were at our feet2


white cranes took flight from the grass

We stood barefoot in the water and watched them

merge into white fog


May, Temple of the Sun

the bell tower burned making space for the six-paneled sky light

poplar branches with new leaves shed spring snow

seeds fly past a black crane kite

a woman lies on her back

palms open, upward

the bell tower burned offthe second story

poplar leaves spring snow seeds past a woman

on her back, a black crane

the third eye separates

a woman burned

a bell tower branches the second story

a black crane on a woman's back

making space for six-paneled light

sky seeds, blue

the stone staircase curves leftin the archway

she climbs burned leaves

the stone steps end at the skylight

thick accumulations emanate lightly

grief's orgasm trembles her

in the c of concrete, raised rocks enter the balls of her feet

a magpie flies so close his wings enter the tremble

they are colored in rings, she thinks

she knows the name of this blue though it refuses her memory

wanting instead to reside in her lower temples

she walks closer to his alighted blue

he lets her

the man with gold stars in his ears chants:

the guru is the creator

the guru is the protector

the guru is the destroyer

there is no bell in the tower that burned


1 This line is from the first poem of Su Dongpo's . …

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