A poem from the manuscript, Absence: Presence,
was recently published in
Sky Island Journal, Fall 2020 Issue.
Absence: Presence is a collection of poems influenced by Classical Chinese poetry of the Tang Era (especially the work of Tu Fu, Li Po, and Han Shan ).
Li Po/Li Bai
I wrote the poem a couple of years ago, in October of 2018, after reading “Facing Night” by Tu Fu, in a translation by David Hinton.
In farmlands outside a lone city, our
River village sits among headlong waters
Deep mountains hurry brief winter light
Here. Tall trees calming bottomless wind,
Cranes glide in to misty shallows. Sharing
Our thatch roof, hens settle in. Tonight,
Lamplight scattered across koto and books.
All night long, I can see through my death.
Koto: The Japanese name for a plucked zither. The Chinese name is ‘guzheng,’ meaning ‘ancient zither.’
After reading the
poem, I wandered outside: Mars above, rattle of dead stalks, stars…
The poem can be found at Sky Island Journal here.
BBC documentary on Du Fu
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