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

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Anything New under the Spring Sun?

a tanka sequence for the author of Ecclesiastes


I'm upstairs writing
my dog downstairs sleeping
silence
separates the worlds
between us

finally
I scratch an all-day itch
into a few words . . .
back-breaking wet snow
continues piling up

cliches in my poem
audible but muted...
a new round
of midnight peace talks
between the Muse and me

left behind
by Calliope, the thief
of my heart and mind:
winter moonlight
on a scribbled line

the Muse asks,
Does a grain of poetry
suffice
to season our day?

sand slipping through my fingers

another day
starts with cliched imagery
the Muse is gone
but her eyes that stared at me
remain in my glass of wine

wishing
I could bottle these feelings
for Calliope . . .
a few more words nibble
the edges of my night

this starless night
the Muse at loggerheads
with my shadow...
at daybreak, the first line
rage against the day

my muse listens
to the hum and strike
of my words...
that same old look
on her Tudor court face

these clichéd words
hauled out of their mansion
herded onto buses
crammed into the camp
        it's a dream, and yet...

first spring day...
distant sirens sharpen
the silence
I share with my old dog
and Calliope

book launch over
the Muse holding a scythe
walks me home...
this dream I have
on the first night of spring

I'm pregnant
with the 13th tanka ...
in twilight
my muse's ghost up the road
and around the bend


NeverEnding Story, March 27, 2013