The cut peonies suffer
Fragrant little deaths at night
Drumming drumming—the June rain
Falling falling—in the dark
I do not know who planted
The flowering tree out front
Locust blooms—falling falling
In the rain—drumming drumming
We planted maple saplings
All around our childhood home
Then we moved—back from away
For brief visits—I can see
The maples at least have become
Everything they could and should be
Depth Charge: After many drafts and re-writes, this response has fashioned itself into a pseudo-sonnet.
Tune: “Picking Mulberry Seeds”‘
By Li Qingzhao
Who planted the banana trees in front of my casement,
Filling the courtyard with shadows,
Each leaf a heart brimming over with love
As it closes or unfolds.
Patter of midnight rain on the leaves
Haunting the pillow–
Dismal sounds, painful memories:
An outcast from the North in the throes of sorrow
Cannot bear to sit up and listen.
Lǐqīngzhào tiānzì cǎi sāngzi
chuāng qián shuí zhǒng bājiāo shù, yīn mǎn zhōngtíng. Yīn mǎn zhōngtíng, yè yè xīnxīn, shū juàn yǒuyú qíng.
Shāngxīn zhěnshàng sān gēng yǔ, diǎndī lín yín. Diǎndī lín yín, chóu sǔn lí rén, bù guàn qǐlái tīng.
Li Qingzhao to add/word/pick/mulberry/seed
Window/in front of/who?/to plant/banana/tree, shadow/full/middle/courtyard. Shadow/full/middle/courtyard, leaf/leaf/heart/heart, unfold/roll/to have/abundant/feeling.
Injure/heart/pillow/on/third/watch (of the night)/rain, drip/drop/conintuous rain/heavy rain. drip/drop/continuous rain/heavy rain, worry/damaged/from away/person/not/accustomed/rise/up/listen.
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