Saturday, 23 July 2016

Relic Environments Trilogy: Book I, Part 2. iv-vi

from Book I, Part 2, Revelatons of a Lesser Wife

The Alchemist   

In the heavy robes, embroidered brightness, clouds       
Perfumed hibiscus reds deep in greenery
Mountain scenery, water
Falling, all, stitched into the cape

I stare and stare, remembering songbird notes
A caged crane released

Sleepy dusk


A vaulted chamber echoing rain

To Secretary Liu

In those times your army, old hands every one
Made roads to march down
Singing soldier songs
In March, in driving rain
Fording Fenchuan River
Or by the Junshui
With June’s countryside in flower

Times change, from horizon to horizon
Land won with spears is walled

Dusty farms, no curfews now

People talking past midnight

Old battlefields grassed over
The guests snoozing drunk on the lawn

I set aside my writing materials as verses appear
From nowhere
The characters rising off the parchment

Bright fish

Scattered images on water

At Washing-Yarn Temple

Warlords grind their weapons, position armies

Who triumphs now 
Who falls
No one knows

Xi Shi
We smile just thinking about her
Such a lovely girl

Old soldiers face-down in mud
The hermit Fan Li
The martyr Wu Xu, all played their parts
Breaking states

We are near Zhuji, a place named after the great river

Our blue mountain known
Since early times
Where a beautiful woman was born

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