Poems from old notebooks

Sometimes I look through old notebooks to see if there’s anything worth salvaging. Today I found a couple of relics from the phase I went through of stealing from long dead Chinese poets and trying to shoehorn them into locations close in time and space.

Night Boat
(version of Du Fu’s Thoughts while Traveling at Night, 765 A.D. )

Slight grasses bend,
a breeze on the Trout River’s bank.

The mast of my boat,
tall and lonely in the night.

Stars hang down, plumb and true
the wide night sky.

The moon jumps and jumps
in the river’s current.

These thin poems
can’t make me famous.

I’ll grow too old
and too sick to hold a job.

Drifting on the wind,
what do I resemble most?

A lonely gull
between earth and sky.

A Woman’s Night Song of Spring
(version of “Lady Night” Song of Spring, anonymous, circa 400 A.D.)

In the spring woods,
flowers open us all into beauty.

The spring birds, swift and bold,
open our thoughts to regret.

And the spring wind isn’t shy
about its feelings, either–

it lifts and opens
my gauzey silk skirt.

About John MacKenzie

I'll mumble for ya. Poetry, plus most things quantifiable: science, neuroscience, memory, epistemology, baseball. And so on.
This entry was posted in Art is theft, Chinese poetry, Poems from old notebooks, Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Poems from old notebooks

  1. Pingback: More poems from old notebooks (1992) | Mumbling Jack

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