In The Peony Pavilion


The ants swarm the bud
An army of mandibles
Hungry for nectar
The peony luring them with
Sugars—amino acids


But the bud will burst
In explosions of pink—white
With or without this
Voracious invading host
To release what lies hidden


Peonies bloom in
Their strange witchcraft of beauty
Independent of
The attendant ants—and our
Admiring and selfish eyes


My grief beyond doubt
Unfolds across beds ruffled
Seeded—salted hot
Not with tears—I am no ghost
From a haunted grave released


My sorrows—full-blooded
Rage and boil beyond the reach
Of mortal words—tongues
No more wounded than the flowering
Of the peonies’ petals


Depth Charges:

Kunqu – Zhang Zhihong – The Peony Pavilion – Search for the Dream
Book I.Scene 5 – Search for the Dream

Du Liniang returns to the garden to retrieve traces of her dream. She finds fond memories everywhere. She relives her dream and recalls how she was awakened by swirling flowers.

To read all the Tanka, and writing about Tanka, please click here.

To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”


One thought on “In The Peony Pavilion

  1. Pingback: These Black Seeds We Scatter | Mumbling Jack

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