In the Japanese Garden

Red on red on red
The red crabapple blossoms
Cover the courtyard
In the Japanese Garden
Rare respect for the fallen

White on black on white
The white crabapple blossoms
Float on dark waters
White letters on a black sheet
Writing this poem in reverse

AGG20160526

20160525 Crabapple blossoms in Japanese Garden stream cropped

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They don’t bloom for you and me

Sometime in the night
The apples and magnolias
Decided to bloom
And so now they are waiting
For the bees bats and beetles

AGG20160511

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Translation of Li Qingzhao’s “As if in a Dream Made: Don’t You Know?”

“As if in a Dream Made: Don’t You Know?”
by Li Qingzhao

Sudden winds scatter last night’s rain showers,
Heavy sleep failed to clear my head of wine.
I ask you as you’re rolling up the blinds,
But you say the crab apple is unchanged.

Don’t you know?
Don’t you know?

By now the foliage should be thick and green
With flowers blooming delicate and red.

Translated by AGG20160506.

Depth Charge:  As part of the “Our Tears Become a Language” project, I will be doing my own translation of 64 poems by, or attributed to, Li Qingzhao.

Chinese:
李清照·如梦令
昨夜雨疏风骤,浓睡不消残酒。试问卷帘人,却道海棠依旧。
知否?知否?应是绿肥红瘦。

Pinyin:
Li Qīngzhào·rú mèng lìng
Zuóyè yǔ shū fēng zhòu, nóng shuì bùxiāo cán jiǔ. Shì wènjuàn lián rén, què dào hǎitáng yījiù. Zhī fǒu? Zhī fǒu? Yīng shì lǜféi hóng shòu.

Word-by-word:
Li Qingzhao/as(if)/dream/to make (cause) something (to happen)
Yesterday/night/rain/scattered/wind/sudden, dense(heavy)/sleep/not/dissipate/remaining/wine (alcohol). Try/ask/scroll/screen/person, however/say/wild plum (海棠)/to be aware/as/before.
Know/or not? Know/or not?/Ought to/green/fat/red/thin.

Here is an earlier version of this poem.
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Unexaggerated

The news of your death
As unexaggerated
As it’s heartbreaking
Continues to ricochet
All around the Internet

Today a message
Months and months after the fact
Ambushed by fresh grief
Over what should be old wounds—
Sorrow keeps its own schedule

AGG20160505
(for Ziad Ghaoui d. 2014)

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Phallic and unbloomed

This year’s magnolias
Prolong ecstasy—edging
Phallic and unbloomed

AGG20160504

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Pas de gaufres, pas de beignes

Je n’ai pas de gaufres,
Je n’ai pas de beignes,
Je n’en ai rien de rien,
Parce que je n’ai pas mon man.

AGG20160502
for Cutty

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