Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Monday, February 25, 2013

The NeverEnding Story between Calliope and Me: A Tanka Sequence

for Michael Ende


first light touching
the empty side of my bed . . .
on my headstone
A poet's life is lived
in the shadow of the Muse


my neighbor's cat
chasing a big mouse
across the room
I wait for bread crumbs
from the Muse's table

this humid day
the Muse dressed in a burqa
comes toward me
the sounds in my head
roar and fight like monsters

at high noon
my critic and the Muse
man-womaning...
I turn to Orlando,
the book my ex loves most

this summer night
my Muse's sexual rage
thundering
through many pages...
I write about loneliness

my ex and Muse
brimming over with love
for each other...
awake, autumn sunlight
on my coffee-stained desk

the Muse comes
as a mournful solace
despite passing
of the final deadline
I write rage against the light

nothing new
stuttering off the tongue
of my old Muse . . .
I look out the window
at leaves swirling in midair

my dying Muse
her whole life runs through my mind...
on the way home
I see nothing but
snowflakes and shadows


Published in Haiku Canada Review, 7:1, February 2013