Mid-Autumn Festival—yet

Full moon lost among the street lights

Gorgeous bright full moon
Mid-Autumn Festival—yet
You’re roundly ignored
No mind—we give each other
A knowing look in the night

AGG20130919

Depth Charge: Yesterday morning I published a response poem to Wang Wei’s  “Autumn Twilight, Dwelling Among Mountains.” Later in the day I realized it was 中秋节/Mid-Autumn Festivnal/Mooncake Festival. I felt it only appropriate to acknowledge the moon with a tanka.

To see only the Tanka, and writing about Tanka, please click here.

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…”

On Mount Royal, Early Autumn

Felled tree on Mount Royal

On Mount Royal, Early Autumn
(after Autumn Twilight, Dwelling in the Mountains by Wang Wei)

The path is busy after work,
Late summer blending into autumn.

Sunlight shines through maple trees,
Lights up glimpses of the Saint Lawrence.

Young joggers laugh and talk,
Gravel crunching underfoot.

We come and go like the falling leaves,
The homeless build shelters for the night.

AGG20130919

Depth Charge: This poem is a response poem to Wang Wei’s poem “Autumn Twilight, Dwelling Among Mountains” and, in particular, David Hinton’s overwrought translation, which goes to extreme lengths to jam in Chan Buddhist references and esoteric language that are  either not there or best left implicit. Below is the original Chinese, Hinton’s translation and my translation.

山居秋暝 (王維)

空山新雨後,天氣晚來秋。
明月松間照,清泉石上流。
竹喧歸浣女,蓮動下漁舟。
隨意春芳歇,王孫自可留。

Autumn Twilight, Dwelling Among Mountains
by Wang Wei, translated by David Hinton

In empty mountains after the new rains,
it’s late. Sky-ch’i has brought autumn –

bright moon incandescent in the pines,
crystalline stream slipping across rocks.

Bamboo rustles: homeward washerwomen.
Lotuses waver: a boat gone downstream.

Spring blossoms wither away by design,
but a distant recluse can stay on and on.

Autumn Twilight Among the Mountains
by Wang Wei, translated by Andrew Grimes Griffin

The mountains are empty after new rain,
Autumn weather is late arriving.

The bright moon shines through the pines,
Clear water flows over stones.

Bamboo rustles as the washer women go home,
Lotus blossoms are pushed under a fisherman`s boat.

Spring fragrance comes and goes on its own,
The monkeys are free to remain.

If you’d like to view the poetry and writing that is not tanka, or tanka related, please click here. 

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…”

Nanjing étude 5 untitled (That fellow’s hung like a horse) by AGG & 王梵志

That fellow’s hung like a horse,
Me, hairy as a donkey.
Look behind! He’s packin’ wood,
All links in a daisy chain.

AGG20130511

他人騎大馬
王梵志

他人騎大馬,我獨跨驢子。
回頭擔柴漢,心下較些子。

That fellow rides a big horse
Wang Fanzhi
Translated by Eugene Eoyang

That fellow rides a big horse,
While I straddle a donkey.
Turn around: someone’s toting wood—
So easy to take on airs.

All the études may be viewed here.

If you’d like to view the poetry and writing that is not tanka, or tanka related, please click here. 

To see all the posts on this blog with explicit and implicit gay content, click here.

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…”

Nanjing étude 4 untitled (Knowing nothing is being wise) by AGG & 王梵志

Knowing nothing is being wise,
Heart as open as a skull’s grin,
Don’t take yourself too serious,
Even if your mother’s named Graves.

AGG20130505

慧心近空心
王梵志

慧心近空心,非關髑髏孔。
對面說不識,饒你母信董。

Wisdom Approaches Emptiness
Wang Fanzhi
Translated by Andrew Grimes Griffin

Wisdom approaches emptiness,
Doesn’t close the holes in a skull.
Speech will never comprehend it,
Even if your mother’s named Smart.

Depth Charge:
Wang Fanzhi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wang_Fanzhi
http://www.sevenpillarshouse.org/poetry/five_poems_by_wang_fanzhi/

The Zen of Copyright: Or, why I talk to a Buddhist Monk who’s been dead for over 13 hundred years

The Dao of Copyright: Or, why a Buddhist Monk who’s been dead for over 13 hundred years talks to me.

All the études may be viewed here.

If you’d like to view the poetry and writing that is not tanka, or tanka related, please click here. 

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…”

Nanjing étude 3 untitled (When I watched you die that day) by AGG & 王梵志

When I watched you die that day,
My heart was a red-hot flame,
Not from pity or fear, but
Love of our shared human fate.

AGG20130427

無題詩
王梵志

我見那漢死,肚裏熱如火;
不是惜那漢,恐畏還到我。

Untitled Poem
Wang Fanzhi
(Translated by Eugene Eoyang)

I saw another man die:
My stomach burned like fire.
Not that I felt sorry for him:
I was afraid I’d be next.

Depth Charge:
Photographs are of tombstones on Cangshan in Dali, China and on Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Wang Fanzhi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wang_Fanzhi
http://www.sevenpillarshouse.org/poetry/five_poems_by_wang_fanzhi/

All the études may be viewed here.

If you’d like to view the poetry and writing that is not tanka, or tanka related, please click here. 

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…”

Nanjing étude 2 untitled (Even the sun’s days are numbered) by AGG & 王梵志

Even the sun’s days are numbered;
Why not write songs to dying stars?
For protection you buy bonds, pray;
Bankers, morticians, priests just smile.

AGG20130421

無題詩
王梵志

世無百年人,
强作千年詩;
打鐵作門限,
鬼見拍手笑。

Untitled Poem
by Wang Fanzhi
(Translated by Eugene Eoyang)

No one lives past a hundred;
Why not write immortal rhymes.
Forge iron to fence off evil—
Demons just watch: clap hands and laugh.

Photographs of Avebury Stone Circle by Eileen Lavery

Depth Charge:
Avebury Stone Circle http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury/
Wang Fanzhi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wang_Fanzhi
http://www.sevenpillarshouse.org/poetry/five_poems_by_wang_fanzhi/

All the études may be viewed here.

If you’d like to view the poetry and writing that is not tanka, or tanka related, please click here. 

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…”

bird étude 4 corvid heart beating

Corvid heart beating
Raucous—quick-witted—loyal
Always questioning
Never doubting—I’d call you
Cocksure—but you’re pure crow

AGG20130418
Photographs by Eileen Lavery

All the études may be viewed here.

To see only the Tanka, and writing about Tanka, please click here.

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…”

Depth Charge: “Out of the 810 species of North American birds, only two are completely black: the American Crow and the Common Raven.”  Why the Crow Is Black from BirdNote

cicada étude 4 worms of love

Worms of Love

How could we not have known
My body pressing down on yours
Would smothering be
The grave’s cold clay,
My hot kisses the caresses
Of a thousand lovelorn worms,
Each “I love you” and “baby”,
One more tiny bite?

AGG20110214

All the études may be viewed here.

If you’d like to view the poetry and writing that is not tanka, or tanka related, please click here. 

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…”

Nanjing étude 1 Jinling Landscape/Nanjing Dream by AGG & 韋莊

Five years with you in Nanjing
Was a dream of dragonflies.
The wutong trees, old stone walls
Uncaring have forgotten.

AGG20130411

金陵圖
韋莊

江雨霏霏江草齊,六朝如夢鳥空啼。
無情最是台城柳,依舊煙籠十裏堤。

Jinling Landscape by Wei Zhuang

Rain drizzles on the river, grasses stand in even array.
The Six Dynasties gone like a dream, birds vainly sing.
Most heartless of all are the willows of the Imperial City,
Still as of old a misty cage along the three-mile dike.

Jinling is one of the ancient names for Nanjing.

All the études may be viewed here.

If you’d like to view the poetry and writing that is not tanka, or tanka related, please click here. 

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…”

tanka étude 4 april holds its breath

April holds its breath
Waiting—waiting—to exhale
Buds blossoms birds bugs
A lover who hesitates
Before saying Yes! O, Yes!

AGG20130409

Tanka études are experiments in poetry, image and sound. All the études may be viewed here.

To read all the Tanka, and writing about Tanka, please click here.

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…”