I have several books on the pillow including American Sphinx, John Adams Biography, Mayflower, and The Radicalism of the American Revolution. I am excited to read these, but I find my mind wandering and not savoring the history lesson. The fullness of my days has not permitted much time for serious reading. Additionally, since Christmas, I have not made anything. Not enough energy or time to sit and dream in the studio.
To fill the void and perhaps to jump kick creativity, I’ve been carrying around my homemade poetry anthology, opening it up during those sparse free moments, reading a few lines and gaining a bit of peace. I’ve cleaved to these poems with such a passion over the years, their lines linger in my thoughts. Perhaps you, reader, will also read these, see a bit of your life, your humaness, in them and gain a bit of peace as well. Love, jig
People may change, I suppose
but in my hometown
The flowers are bright as ever,
their fragrance as sweet.
—Ki No Tsuraguki
When will I be home? (Li Shang Yin)
When will I be home?
I don’t know.
In the mountains,
In the rainy night,
The Autumn lake is flooded.
Someday we will be back together agian.
We will sit in the candlelight
By the west windows,
And I will tell you how I remembered you tonight
On the stormy mountain.
Still Night Thoughts (Li Po)
Moonlight in front of my bed—
I took it for frost on the ground!
I lift my eyes to watch the mountain moon,
Lower them and dream of home.
The Sorrow (Li Yu 937-978)
The sorrow in your heart
is betrayed by a few grey hairs.
Life is like empty mountain ranges
Where snow awaits your visits
Yet you make your solitary retreat
By the past in the wilderness.
I’d like to add another poem here, one that is new to me. Since I read it a few weeks ago, its imagery has returned, swirling, in my thoughts. It was written by a fellow blogger, Gayle. It and others can be viewed at http://catterwonky.wordpress.com/. I feel this poem—it fits me too well, like an old pair of jeans. Comforting. Sentimentally kept and quietly recognized.
Blue, the color of distance and depth
Can burn like stars
Or, like the moon, fix you with a cold gaze.
Alone, and surrounded, she ducks to
Enter the room. She fills it up
With the world she carries around.
The Wolf, stalking the moonlit forest,
Silver in the blue wood,
Can see each movement,
Each insect’s breath and
Each quivering leaf.
Through bared branches and
Fronds of maidenhair;
Tangling the berry briars and
Softening its blood-black fruits.
She can stand Here and smell
Yesterday and Tomorrow:
The river’s wild and
A patch of roses,
Just springing from
Frozen blue earth.