Friday, 5 May 2017

5 Poems by Joseph Milford

GE –Abolishing the Old (Dui [Lake] Over Li [Fire])

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Seasons                                                        shed codes
The tanning of the hide, the molting skin
The astronomer reads the calendars
The panther’s skin in flux with time and place
Revolve                                              mutate
Your glistening new skin in the march rain


Jing (Replenishing Kan Water Over Xun Wood)

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Constant                                         deep well
In accordance, the village gathers ‘round
Quenching                                      at dusk
Like roots uncoiling towards underground lakes,
people austere in gathering circle
carry                                                bowls, scowls


Kun Exhausting Dui Lake Kan Water

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Treestump                                      silt, salt
Cracked riverbed at the end of long road
Enlightenment from gloom—odyssey done
Asphalt                             blacksnake
Careens from horizon to sting your eyes
The pain                                          of gods

Lu

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Everyone in their travel is a stranger
Bird burns                                             his nest
The fires carried across the peaks by wind
Five hundred soldiers pack up their shelters
Wend firth                                    choose quest
Steadfast                                                yet trek


Zhong Fu

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The arrow true through target passes, core
Of what is felt not seen—wind on water
Yet still                              Lucid
No mist                             Lone crane
Then calls from a hidden place. Sky above,
Earth below, the lake between: human heart.


Bionote

Joe Milford is an English professor and writer in Georgia. He is currently finishing his second collection of poems, TATTERED SCROLLS AND POSTULATES, which is forthcoming in May, 2017. He has nightmares about amphibians and DNA.

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