Moon Tanka for Eliza’s Birthday

And you with the moon
Make this strange world stranger still
Changing shape and shade
With incarnations
For the curious to share

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Depth Charge: Eliza Griffiths will be exhibiting new works at ELLEPHANT, 1201 rue St-Dominique, Montréal, Qc H2X 2W3 Canada, 5/11/2016 – 17/12/2016. Vernissage: November 5, 2016, 16:00 – 20:00. Image:Detail of painting by Eliza Griffiths.

guoande seal script jpegTo 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 Griffinjust click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

 

Moon Magnolia Morning

 

The moon’s a bone cloud
In a cloudless morning sky
Chill air—branches bare
Magnolia buds opening
Only they know it is spring

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guoande seal script jpegTo 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 Griffinjust click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

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

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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.

Supermoon on a Skateboard

When you are a child
The world’s gravity is fun
Swings—slides—monkey bars
Every challenge is a joy
When you fall—you get back up

No sense of balance
It’s Mid-Autumn Festival
There’s a Supermoon
So conditions are ideal
For skateboarding—and falling

Even the moon wants
To distance itself from us
Each year falls away
Three point eight centimetres
As it flees our gravity

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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…”

The stars do not fall

The stars do not fall
The moon does not shrink and grow
There will come a day
The sun will not rise—so what
That your love’s a fucking lie

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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…”

A Response to Li Qingzhao’s “Nostalgia for Fluting on the Phoenix Terrace”

The birds
The little birds
The little brown birds
The little brown birds
Sing wordless songs at dawn

The tree
The locust tree
The flowering locust tree
The flowering locust tree
Caressed all day by honeybees

The Moon
The Moon and Mars
The Moon and Mars—white and red
The Moon and Mars—white and red
Waltz through the midnight skies

Each day I rise
Each day I make the bed
Each day I listen to wordless songs
Watch the blossoms get caressed
Try to sleep with the Moon and Mars
Together waltzing through midnight stars

And I think at least the wind will blow
And the world will spin all of this away
Like you who would not stay
You who refuses to be seen
Not even in my dreams
Because if you could disappear
If you will not be here
Why should they persist?

The birds
The little birds
The little brown birds

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Depth charge: Li Qingzhao’s poem about separation from a loved one may have been the original impetus for this poem, but in the end it was a line from a Carter Family song Darling Little Joe: “Thelittle brown birds around the door,” that provided the key. I also found inspiration in Skeeter Davis’ The End of the World and, finally, by commenting on the locust tree outside my wind and being challenged by a friend to turn it into a poem.

Tune: “Nostalgia for Fluting on the Phoenix Terrace”
Separation
by Li Qingzhao

No more incense smoke from the gilt lion burner;
Quilts in the bed: a riot of crimson waves.
A night of unrestful sleep,
And I am in no mood to comb my hair,
Heedless that my jewelled toilet-set is covered with dust,
And the morning sun peeping above the curtain-hooks.
A jumble of parting thoughts,
Yet I hesitate on the verge of utterance
For fear of bitterness.
Of late I’ve been growing thin,
Not that I over-drink myself,
Nor from lament for the autumn.

Finished! Finished!
Ten thousand Songs of Farewell① failed to detain
The loved one-now gone f a r away
To Wu Ling Peach Blossom Springs. ②
Here in this mist-locked chamber
I sit brooding t h e livelong day,
With only the limpid stream showing me sympathy
As it glides quietly past the terrace.
A fresh wave of regret floods my heart
Where I gaze.

①  An allusion to a poem written by Wang Wei of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) to see off a friend, which in later generations came to be widely used as a song of farewell, with its last line
“West of Yang Guan you’ll have no more old friends ” sung as a refrain. Yang Guan was an ancient pass in present-day Gansu province.

②  The poet compares her husband to the fisherman who sojourned in the Land of Peach Blossom Springs in Tao Yuanming’s Utopian essay.

Translated by Jiaosheng Wang.

李清照凤凰台上忆吹箫
香冷金猊,被翻红浪,起来慵自梳头。任宝奁尘满,日上帘钩。生怕离怀别苦,多少事、欲说还休。新来瘦,非干病酒,不是悲秋。
休休,这回去也,千万遍《阳关》,也则难留。念武陵人远,烟锁秦楼。唯有楼前流水,应念我、终日凝眸。凝眸处,从今更添,一段新愁。

李清照鳳凰台上憶吹簫
香冷金猊,被翻紅浪,起來慵自梳頭。任寶奩塵滿,日上簾鉤。生怕離懷別苦,多少事、欲說還休。新來瘦,非干病酒,不是悲秋。
休休,這回去也,千萬遍《陽關》,也則難留。念武陵人遠,煙鎖秦樓。唯有樓前流水,應念我、終日凝眸。凝眸處,從今更添,一段新愁。

Lǐqīngzhào fènghuáng tái shàng yì chuī xiāo
Xiāng lěng jīn ní, bèi fān hóng làng, qǐlái yōng zì shūtóu. Rènbǎolián chén mǎn, rì shàng lián gōu. Shēngpà lí huái bié kǔ, duōshǎo shì, yù shuō hái xiū. Xīn lái shòu, fēi gàn bìng jiǔ, bùshì bēi qiū.
Xiū xiū, zhè huíqù yě, qiān wàn biàn “yáng guān”, yě zé nán liú . Niàn wǔlíng rén yuǎn, yān suǒ qín lóu. Wéiyǒu lóu qián liúshuǐ, yīng niàn wǒ, zhōngrì níngmóu. Níngmóu chù, cóng jīn gèng tiān, yīduàn xīn chóu.

Here is all the ci/词 and responses to it on this blog.

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…”

A Response to Li Qingzhao’s “Celebrating the Clear Serene Dawn: To the Late Peony”

The peonies of late-spring,
So many dying strangers
Who extend exquisite doom,
Standing proud on arching stems,
Resin-coated, soon to bloom,
x     A squander of bright petals,
x     The sun caresses the moon,
x     Under moonshine flowers bloom,
x     Beneath flowers lies dark soil,
x     Fragrant rusting of the dead,
Ancient couplets, ancient songs,
x     Spiral always from within,
x     Squalling, squawking, mandibles,
x     Squeaking, buzzing, flying things
x     Talking, talking, talk, talk, talk…
x     Fucking, fucking, fuck, fuck, fuck…
Again rising just to drop.

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Depth Charge: For more on peonies. Photo by Eileen Lavery.

李清照庆清朝慢
禁幄低张,彤阑巧护,就中独占残春。容华淡伫,绰约俱见天真。待得群花过后,一番风露晓妆新。妖娆艳态,妒风笑月,长殢东君。
东城边,南陌上,正日烘池馆,竞走香轮。绮筵散日,谁人可继芳尘。更好明光宫殿,几枝先近日边匀。金尊倒,拚了尽烛,不管黄昏。

李清照慶清朝慢
禁幄低張,彤闌巧護,就中獨占殘春。容華淡佇,綽約俱見天真。待得群花過後,一番風露曉妝新。妖嬈艷態,妒風笑月,長殢東君。
東城邊,南陌上,正日烘池館,競走香輪。綺筵散日,誰人可繼芳塵。更好明光宮殿,幾枝先近日邊勻。金尊倒,拚了盡燭,不管黃昏。

Lǐ Qīngzhào qìng qīngcháo màn
Jìn wò dī zhāng , tóng lán qiǎo hù , jiù zhōng dúzhàn cán chūn. Róng huá dàn zhù, chuòyuē jù jiàn tiānzhēn . Dài dé qún huā guòhòu, yī fān fēng lù xiǎo zhuāng xīn. Yāoráo yàn tài, dù fēng xiào yuè, zhǎng tì dōng jūn .
Dōngchéng biān, nán mò shàng, zhèng rì hōng chí guǎn, jìngzǒu xiāng lún. Qǐ yán sàn rì , shéi rén kě jì fāng chén . Gèng hǎo míngguāng gōngdiàn , jǐ zhī xiān jìnrì biān yún . Jīn zūn dào, pànle jǐn zhú, bùguǎn huánghūn.

Tune: “Celebrating the Clear Serene Dawn”
To the Late Peony
by Li Qingzhao

Usurper of the last days of spring,
Canopied by low palace curtains,
Protected by exquisite crimson railing;
Delicate, unadorned,
Nature’s very image untrammelled by art!
Let all other flowers hide away!
To you alone the dewy breeze of morn does bring
A hundred charms after your early toilet –
Envied by the wind and laughing at the moon,
Enough to make the God of Spring fall in love with you,
Ever reluctant to depart.

Perfumed carriages jostle one and all,
Through the southern streets,
To where sunshine bathes Brookside Hall①
East of the city wall.
Who can succeed you when you become fragrant dust,
The banqueting once over?
Let all the golden cups be drained,
All the candles gutter out,
And yellow twilight fall unheeded in the west!
But miss not your boughs
Nestling beside the Palace of Brilliance, ②
By the sun③ first softly caressed.

①Presumably a popular resort to which people of rank
and wealth flocked t o enjoy shows of r a r e flowers and
plants.
②A luxurious palace b u i l t in t h e reign of Emperor Yu of
the Han Dynasty, reputed for its walls inlaid with pearls
and its staircases and doors shining with gold, the whole
palace being a blaze of light even on a dark night.
③A pun meaning both royalty and the sun.

Translated by Jiaosheng Wang.

Here is all the ci/词 and responses to it on this blog.

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…”