As a poet I long to go back to the times
When the Chinese poets of the Tang Dynasty
Walked about noting the world.
And out of my fog I walk there too
In the valley of Guilin where the stone formations
Rise up like uncarved forgotten heads.
I slip out of my pack and search through the pockets
Smelling the fires, smoke mixed with soups,
Mist in the air, dew on the ground,
And low green clouds covering it all.
Huts in pockets like patches of wheat.
What shall I do to make the most of my time?
Paint the land in vague watercolors
That splash and soak and blend together.
Then end it all with the black rock formations
Clearly defined in the center of the page.
Or write a descriptive poem with layers
That describe what ‘s here but announce deeper feelings.
Or tune my lute and pluck out notes
That echo off the rocks a 3rd or 4th higher…
Then I exclaim, “Oh where’s the time gone?”