Birdsong (For My Baby, For The Road): A Response to Li Qingzhao’s “New Version Sand of Silk-Washing Brook”

Witness to our sparse histories 
Black bare branches lattice the dawn‘s 
Grey winter sky with promises 
Of backyard birdsong

When you said he loved barbecue 
Thats when I knew he‘d been alive 
But after long illness was gone 
—And that’s when we cried

Soon after his—her final breath
—One last breeze of soft winter snow—
Her music followed memory
Where both had to go

This is what it means to be gone—
They can no longer share a meal
Or a dance in each other’s arms
—But we can and will

Beneath branches of full birdsong

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In Memoriam Gérald Chevrier (d. Dec 24, 2014) and Jacqueline Chevrier (d. Jan 10, 2015)

Gérald and Jacqueline Chevrier

Depth Charge: On Saturday, Jan 24, 2014, I attended the joint memorial service for Gérald and Jacqueline Chevrier, the parents of my friend Micheline Chevrier. I had never met either of them, but through the moving eulogy delivered by Micheline, I began to understand them and the influence they had had on her. That eulogy was a gift and a revelation and my poem nothing more than its pale shadow.

Tune: “Sand of Silk-Washing Brook” (a new veraion)
On Recovering from a Long Illness
by Li Qingzhao

Beside the window, convalescent I lie reclined,
My sparse hair greying at the temples,
My mind serene as I watch a waning moon
Climb the gauze curtains.
A drink of cardamom① leaf tips boiled over a living fire
Will do for me instead of tea.

An idler’s boon: Reading leisurely propped on pillows;
Lovelier after rain:
The view outside my door.
Sweet-scented cassia blossoms,
Delicate and loving,
Leaning towards me all day long.

①A medicinal herb still needful to the poet in her convaleseenee because of its effects of dispelling stomach ache, alleviating vomiting, etc., which can, however, be counteracted by a drink of tea.

Translated by Jiaosheng Wang.

摊破浣溪沙 李清照
病起萧萧两鬓华,卧看残月上窗纱。豆蔻连梢煎熟水,莫分茶。
枕上诗书闲处好,门前风景雨来佳。终日向人多酝藉,木犀花。

Tān pò huànxīshā Lǐ Qīngzhào
Bìng qǐ xiāoxiāo liǎng bìn huá , wò kàn cányuè shàng chuāngshā. Dòukòu lián shāo jiān shú shuǐ , mò fēn chá .
Zhěnshàng shī shū xián chù hǎo , mén qián fēngjǐng yǔ lái jiā. Zhōngrì xiàng rén duō yùn jí , mùxī huā .

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…”

To read  as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the linke and select “Save link as…”

To read the chapbook Happy Birthday Hanafuda by Andrew Grimes Griffin just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

Fermion Hearts Boson Beds

Our fermion hearts
Bound through endless boson beds
Ceaselessly waving
In opposite directions
Across promiscuous glue

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Depth Charge: Fermions are elementary particles that cannot share the same quantum state. Bosons are unlimited in the number that can share the same quantum state and, furthermore, they carry the force that holds matter together. This is my first attempt at poetry inspired by The Quantum Moment, Robert B. Crease and Alfred Scharff Goldhaber.

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…”

To read  as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the linke and select “Save link as…”

To read the chapbook Happy Birthday Hanafuda by Andrew Grimes Griffin just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

Never Better Nothing More: A Response to Li Qingzhao’s “Remembering the Maid of Qin”

Dark dust of a billion stars
Lifting spiralling shifting
Settles into our being’s
Random DNA pairings
Love hunger but mostly fear
Ravelling unravelling
Evolution’s coiled ribbons
Lifting spiralling shifting
Black crows in the falling snow
Return at sunset noisy
With the day’s news in their beaks
Never better nothing more
The winter wind complicates
The urge of the snow to fall
Fifty years of memory
Lifting spiralling shifting
But always failing falling
Always settling into drifts
Of identical cold days
Sunset silences the crows
As—somewhere—a star explodes

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Tune: “Remembering the Maid of Qin”
The Wutong  Tree
by Li Qingzhao

Jumbled mountains, rolling plains:
The view from this high tower
Blurred in thin gleaming mist,
Thin gleaming mist.
Across the sunset sky
Flash crows coming home to roost;
At fall of dusk
Calls a distant bugle.

Fading incense, remnants of wine:
A heart full of remorse.
Parasol-leaves falling,
Parasol leaves falling.
Urged by the west wind.
Haunting me always,
Autumn’s somber colors.
Never leaves me alone,
The pain of loneliness.

Translated by Jiaosheng Wang.

忆秦娥·桐·李清照
临高阁,乱山平野烟光薄。烟光薄,栖鸦归后,暮天闻角。
断香残酒情怀恶,西风催衬梧桐落。梧桐落,又还秋色,又还寂寞。

Yì qín é ·tóng·Lǐ Qīngzhào
Lín gāogé, luàn shān píngyě yān guāng báo . Yān guāng báo, qī yā guī hòu , mù tiān wén jiǎo .
Duàn xiāng cán jiǔ qínghuái è , xīfēng cuī chèn wútóng luò . Wútóng luò, yòu hái qiūsè , yòu hái jìmò.

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…”

To read  as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the linke and select “Save link as…”

To read the chapbook Happy Birthday Hanafuda by Andrew Grimes Griffin just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”