Brown in the heat
Dune grass whispers
As wind ripples the waters
Cliff swallows shoot high then dive
Swoop low hunting
Other small things
Jellyfish pulse purple trail
Below the rolling surface
Slender fish mouth
The bright white gulls could care less
As we drift past
They do not budge
A lone heron first rises
Above the dunes
Then drops back down
It arcs silent from the past
Into our worlds
(for Anne Burke)
Depth Charge: I had a lovely walk on Brackley Beach, the beach of my childhood, with Anne Burke, who possesses the amazing power to name things. She identified the Artemisia Maritima and it struck me that the word Artemisia also appears in the Li Qingzhao poem I just happened to be working on at the time, as did other words—gull, heron, wind and waves—resonant with the scenery.
Tune: ‘*Complaint Against A Prince”
by Li Qingzhao
Wind on the lake sends the waves
Drifting far and wide.
Autumn deepens. A few lotus blossoms remain
With a lingering fragrance.
Beautiful beyond words are these verdant hills and sparkling streams
That endear themselves to me so warmly.
Lotus pods ripen into seed
As lotus leaves grow sere;
Duckweed and rushes fringe the bank
Fresh-washed by crystal dew.
Dozing egrets and gulls on the sand
Do not so much as turn their heads,
As if they, too, resent
My going away so early.
Lǐ Qīngzhào Yuàn wángsūn
Húshàng fēng lái bō hàomiǎo, qiū yǐ mù, hóng xī xiāng shǎo.Shuǐ guāngshān sè yǔ rén qīn, shuō bu jǐn, wúqióng hǎo.
Liánzǐ yǐ chéng hé yè lǎo, qīng lù xǐ, píng huā tīng cǎo .Mián shā’ōu lù bù huítóu, shì yě hèn, rén guī zǎo.
Li Qingzhao Complain/king/grandson
Lake/on/wind/arrive/wave/vast/extending, autumn/already/sunset, red/rare/fragrance/few. Water/light/mountain/colour/with/person/close, speak/without/end, endlessly/fond.
Lotus/seed/already/become/lotus/leaf/old, clear/dew/wash, Artemisia (duckweed)/flower/sandbank/grass. Sleep/raspy/gull/heron/not/turn/head/seem/also/resent/person/go back/early.
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