As a Poet I Long To Go Back to the Times

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?”

Photo 4

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One Response to “As a Poet I Long To Go Back to the Times”

  1. musea Says:

    I Followed the Two, The Teacher and Student

    I followed the two, the teacher and student,
    On their walk into the meadow –
    (A warm summer day with the sun overhead.)
    We stopped in a quietly buzzing spot
    With insects flying and a light sweet breeze,
    And sat by a creek that gurgled over the rocks,
    The teacher spoke but in his own language,
    His manner was serious and my friend listened carefully…
    I looked around at the view; at Nature,
    At a sailing bird, at the waving grass,
    At the bright red roofs of the village in the valley.
    Later I asked, “What did he say?”
    “I’ll translate his words as closely as I can.
    Though to tell the truth they’re STILL very puzzling
    He asked me how I would explain to my friend
    How coffee tastes if you’d never tried it.
    Then he said, “It’s 10,000 times harder
    To explain enlightenment to somebody else.
    It’s here in this place, on this beautiful hill
    But you must experience it. You can’t learn it from others.
    It’s everywhere we go, but very hard to find.”

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