Wednesday 5 November 2014

2 Poems by Bruce Dale Wise

Near Noon in Naselle, Washington, 23 July 2011, After Du Fu

Beside green grasses,
motionless in the warm calm,
the sun beats down on
where I sit alone today.

There are no clouds up
in the bright, wide, pure azure.
A faint, white half-moon
floats along this vast highway.

Among the poets
living now I have no name.
Official ranking
leaves me out despite my health.

I'm drifting, and yet,
really, what more am I than
a single swallow
here between the sky and earth?

Lady Wei's Pupil

His writing was as light as floating clouds,
as vigorous as a startled dragon
across the paper, on the silken shrouds,
or dipping ink slabs down into Ink Pond,
where he would watch the geese go gliding by
upon the tiny wavelets in the mist,
or swimming when the sun was in the sky;
the way they moved their necks he moved his wrist.
He took the brush, the ink stick and ink stone
and penetrated to three-quarters of
the wood. His Preface reached right to the bone
of Emperor Taizong. He wrote in love,
this General of the Right Army, he,
the Censor of K'uaichi, Wang Xizhi.

The Painting of Wu Li (circa 1632-1718), Spring Comes to the Lake.

Along Lake Dibian it blows vertically
down from the mountain peaks, down to its southern shore,
caressing spring breeze Fuliu, ah, breathlessly,
past grassy slopes to willows growing at the floor.
Here Wu Li's fine brush stroke and light green tones and shade
create a most remarkable and lovely core.
Along that sweeping curve, the harmony conveyed
includes small swallows, sparrows, geese and egrets, rest-
ing or in flight, and leafed trees elegantly made.
The peacefulness everywhere arrayed and blessed,
breathtaking in meticulous simplicity,
perhaps shows earliest some traces from the West.


WU "SACRED BEE"LI is a mild-mannered poet and literary critic of old-style Chinese literature. His influences include T'ao Y ├╝ an-ming, T'ang poetry, and landscape painter/calligraphy poet Wu Li. He likes Chinese food, and, although he likes so many cuisines, like dim-sum dishes taken in yum-sha style, because of his nature, he particularly likes Zhejiang dishes which are not greasy, have fresh, soft flavors, and possess fine, mellow fragrances.

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