Our Moon Blood

An eclipse compressed
A month of lunar phases
Into mere minutes
Yet—this warping was not rushed
Rather—our love slow making

AGG20150927

Depth Charge: The last time there was a blood moon, it was cloudy, so I had to stream it online. Not so last night, the supermoon eclipse was clearly visible from my back balcony.

Translation: “Auspicious Partridge: A Pair of Ginkgo”

Auspicious Partridge: A Pair of Ginkgo
Attributed to Li Qingzhao
Translated by Andrew Grimes Griffin

Your elegant poise evident
Even though not yet fully formed,
The orange before the wine vessel
Fit only to be called your slave.
Who will show pity when you’re lost
To the southern rivers and lakes?
Jade bones, icy flesh, unwilling
To wither, unsullied remain.

Who was it dared to pluck you from
The stem you both relied upon?
The Emperor after much wine
Must lean on his true concubine.
A deep meaning that both had shared,
When you burst into full ripeness,
In separate homes will be sung
By severed hearts that once were one.

AGG20150916

guoande seal script jpegDepth charge: Again, a poem of questionable provenance, but attributed to Li Qingzhao in the book that I am using as the basis for this project, and again there is no existing English translation that I could locate, so I am forced to do my own.

As a sidenote, while researching ginkgo’s for this poem, I found the following. I have cleaned up the punctuation and spelling: “So, if you notice a tree with fan shaped leaves, and plum shaped fruits which smell like dog feces, it’s probably a ginkgo. Only the female trees bear fruit, and they need to be in proximity to a male ginkgo to make the nuts.”

瑞鹧鸪·双银杏
风韵雍容未甚都,尊前甘橘可为奴。谁怜流落江湖上,玉骨冰肌未肯枯。
谁教并蒂连枝摘,醉后明皇倚太真。居士擘开真有意,要吟风味两家。

Ruì zhè gū ·shuāng yínxìng
Fēngyùn yōngróng wèi shén dōu , zūn qián gān jú kě wéi nú . Shuí lián liúluò jiānghú shàng, yù gǔ bīng jī wèi kěn kū .
Shuí jiào bìng dì lián zhī zhāi, zuì hòu míng huáng yǐ tài zhēn . Jūshì bāi kāi zhēn yǒuyì, yào yín fēngwèi liǎng jiā xīn.

Auspicious/Partridge·Pair/Silver/Apricot(Ginkgo)
Grace/charm/graceful/poised/not yet/very/flourishing, Wine vessel/in front of/sweet/mandarin orange/able/to serve as/slave. Who/pity/desitiute/wander/River/Lake/on, jade/bone/ice/flesh/not yet/willing/dry up.
Who/cause/combine/stem/to join/branch/to pluck, drunk/after/bright/emperor/lean on/greatest/true. Reside/honorific/break/open/real/meaning, must/sing/distinct-style/two/home/new.

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…”

Late Summer Day: A Response to “Sand Washed by Waves,” attributed to Li Qingzhao

Heavy clouds, a downpour, delay the dawn,
The rain’s constant drumming drowns out birdsong,
A temporary dowsing of the flames,
Then signal fires are relit again,
A broadcast in letterless alphabets
Of ciphered feelings—animal—private,
.
Cicadas grate out their percussive lust,
Concuss all ears, though meant for only one,
The flowers encrypt ultraviolet signs
For the bees to parse in late summer sun,
The hot air laced with cellphone talk and text,
Desire in invisible filaments.

But you—silent—as these words on a page:
“The universal mother is also the common grave.”

AGG20150901

Depth Charge: Having already done a translation of the original poem, which in itself is a type of response, this poem is actually as much a reaction to the translation as a response to the original. It is also heavily influenced by my reading of Lucretius’ On the Nature of the Universe at the time I was working on it. The last line is a quote from Book V.

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…”