Category Archives: Chinese poetry

Mid-May Quatrain

Under the swelling moon last night the tips of magnolia petals flushed. Now the willow’s first green threads lengthen, tangled in the spring wind.

Posted in Art is theft, Charlottetown, Chinese poetry, John MacKenzie, Magnolias, New poems, Parallelism, Poem tweets, Poetry, Quatrains, Spring, The Moon, The Wind, Willows | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

May Afternoon

Magnolia buds creaking open to wide white blossom. Gulls over the harbour, shrill under the silent moon.

Posted in Art is lies, Art is theft, Charlottetown, Chinese poetry, Gulls, Harbour, John MacKenzie, Magnolias, Micropoetry, New poems, Parallelism, Poem tweets, Poetry, Quatrains, Spring, The Moon, The Sea, The Sky | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Step Away from the Buddha: brief notes on reading and response, and on salvaging Haiku (and Two Haiku for April 22)

Spring is here, and, with it, a volume of Japanese Death Poems (compiled by Yoel Hoffmann) sent to me by Andrew Griffin. This book sat on my shelf for a few weeks as I gradually overcame my distaste for the … Continue reading

Posted in Andrew Griffin, Art is lies, Art is theft, Chinese poetry, Japanese Poetry, John MacKenzie, Magnolias, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetics, Poetry, Process, Spring, The Wind | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Two Versions of a Cinquain for the First Day of Spring

1 Warm, wet, the spring wind gets in everywhere—stirring curtains, tugging and loosening clothing 2 Stirring curtains, tugging and loosening clothing, the spring wind gets in everywhere, warm, wet

Posted in Art is lies, Art is theft, Chinese poetry, Cinquain, John MacKenzie, New poems, Poetry, Spring, The Wind | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Secluded Orchid (stolen Chinese poetry)

This is the fourth in a series of poems (1, 2, 3) I’ve appropriated from the Chinese via literal translations (which can be found below each poem) by Andrew Griffin—all liberties taken with them must be blamed on me, not … Continue reading

Posted in Andrew Griffin, Art is lies, Art is theft, Chinese poetry, John MacKenzie, New poems, Orchids, Poem tweets, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Watching Bamboo Grow (more stolen Chinese poetry)

This is the third in a series. The first two can be found by clicking the Chinese poetry category and tag links at the bottom of the post. As with the others the original Chinese is below, along with the … Continue reading

Posted in Andrew Griffin, Art is lies, Art is theft, Bamboo, Chinese poetry, John MacKenzie, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, Summer, Translations/Transpositions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Frost Chrysanthemums (Chinese poetry)

Another old Chinese poem. Again, no idea who the author was. And again, worked from a literal translation by Andrew Griffin, which is below the poem. Frost Chrysanthemums In one night the autumn wind split open all the seams of … Continue reading

Posted in Andrew Griffin, Art is lies, Art is theft, Autumn, Chinese poetry, John MacKenzie, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, Spring, The Sky, The Wind, Time, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Winter Plum (a slightly more faithful translation)

The original, with Andrew Griffin’s literal translation, is at the bottom. Winter Plum The mountain wind startles half the flowers on your branches into bursting open. How long have you stood at the edge of this cliff alone in your … Continue reading

Posted in Andrew Griffin, Art is lies, Art is theft, Chinese poetry, John MacKenzie, Plum Blossoms, Poem tweets, Poetry, Recent poems, The Wind, Time, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Winter Plum Blossoms

This afternoon, Andrew Griffin and I sat at Mr Sushi and mistranslated a poem that’s painted on the wall there. I have no idea who wrote it, but I’m sure it’s a famous old poem. The uncertainty of its authorship … Continue reading

Posted in Andrew Griffin, Art is lies, Art is theft, Chinese poetry, John MacKenzie, New poems, Plum Blossoms, Poem tweets, Poetry, The Wind, Time, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Bloom is not the Flower (Trailside Cafe Video #2)

The Bloom is not the Flower This one’s short, just over a minute. Probably should’ve posted it first, as it ended my first set while yesterday’s poem ended my second set. The text appears in Letters I Didn’t Write. Also, … Continue reading

Posted in Art is lies, Art is theft, Bai Juyi, Chinese poetry, John MacKenzie, Letters I Didn't Write, Poem tweets, Poetry, Process, Summer, Time, Trailside Cafe & Inn, Video poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Watching the Curtains in the Morning

Thin gauze curtains move in the window. Mist on the harbour stirred by a heron’s wings. The wind in the night splashed the sea on the rocks. The taste of salt on your spine. Purple asters dot the end of … Continue reading

Posted in Art is lies, Asters, Astronomy, Autumn, Blue Heron, Charlottetown, Chinese poetry, Cosmology, Ghazal, Harbour, John MacKenzie, Language, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, The Sea, The Wind | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nothing Changes the Miles Between Us

This started as a tanka—as I thought about modern technology and love and how to work them together into poems after reading Andrew Griffin’s fine love poem, I see your number—but I quickly realized it could not be crammed in thirty-one … Continue reading

Posted in Art is lies, Chinese poetry, Creativity, Du Fu, John MacKenzie, Language, Memory, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, Process, Science, Social Commentary, Su Shi, The Moon, Time | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Do the Twist (a late July night)

This one, in a sense, plays off the stolen Du Fu poem I posted yesterday evening. Chubby Checker – The Twist Do the Twist (a late July night) A late July night. The air is still. The rain earlier only made … Continue reading

Posted in Art is lies, Art is theft, Chinese poetry, Chubby Checker, Consciousness, Du Fu, Epistemology, John MacKenzie, Language, Li Bai, Music, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, Summer, The Moon, The Rain, Tom Waits | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Moonlit Night in Fort Mac Jail (stealing from Du Fu)

I felt a little ambitious this evening so I stole this poem from Du Fu (in the same way many of the poems in the middle section of Letters I Didn’t Write are stolen from dead Chinese poets). It’s a transposal—not … Continue reading

Posted in Art is lies, Art is theft, Chinese poetry, Chubby Checker, Consciousness, Du Fu, John MacKenzie, Language, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, Social Commentary, The Moon, Time, Tom Waits | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Night Rain in July

While I was busy the night grew late, the moon slid behind storm clouds—now rain mocks me with these rhythms— how you tapped on my window

Posted in Art is lies, Art is theft, Chinese poetry, Japanese Poetry, John MacKenzie, Micropoetry, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, Summer, Tanka, The Moon, The Rain | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ghazal in the Night

The wings of a gull over waves breaking on salt marsh and beach under the dunes under the moon. The reeds of the salt marsh stirred by a gull’s wings in the night. My breath on your thighs. The curves … Continue reading

Posted in Art is lies, Art is theft, Chinese poetry, Consciousness, Epistemology, Ghazal, Gulls, John MacKenzie, Language, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, Summer, The Moon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

When the Moon Rises, Aloof

When the Moon Rises, Aloof When the moon rises pale, round, aloof, over the horizon the wild flowers fold their bright petals tight on the headlands. When the wild flowers spread their petals wide on sloping capes the white gulls … Continue reading

Posted in Art is lies, Art is theft, Chinese poetry, Gulls, Harbour, John MacKenzie, Language, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, Qiu Xiaolong, Summer, The Sea | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Under the Lindens

Under the Lindens We’re short five sages and a bamboo grove—guess it’s just you and me, crow

Posted in Art is lies, Art is theft, Chinese poetry, Consciousness, Crows, Epistemology, Haiku, John MacKenzie, Li Bai, Micropoetry, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, Summer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Island Woman in Spring (poems from old notebooks, June 2009)

Here’s another old attempt to steal a poem from a  long dead Chinese poet—in this case, Li Bai or Li Po, whichever you prefer to call him—and bring it nearer in time and place. The original Chinese and a literal … Continue reading

Posted in Art is theft, Chinese poetry, Poem tweets, Poems from old notebooks, Poetry, Process, Spring | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Art is theft, Chinese poetry, Poems from old notebooks, Poetry | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment