Light in the Darkness

‘Red spirits rise from stone’ – @anjkan

I’ve been reading a Chinese classic of poetry
300 poems from The Tang dynasty
Leave it to the the Chinese to have dynasties
Leaving me with the taste of imperialism
No wonder they hate imperial rule so much

You could argue that it’s their history
Though China is such a hybrid country
Created as much by being conquered
As by their own wars of conquest
I’m surprised that Korea and Vietnam
Are separate national entities

Even the poetry seems to echo this
Speaking of this emperor
That courtesan and her affairs
As if poetry was a political act
Which I suppose it is in its own way

No shame there of course
What else is a poet going to write about
Being an old man living in California
I write about what’s meaningful to me
Those old Chinese poets did the same
So who am I to complain

Still, it’s an odd thing about poetry
We basically write the same poems
Poems about the moon and clouds
Poems about the rivers and mountains
Poems about our loves and longings
So why if my poems are the same as theirs
Why then do I feel the need to write my poems

Recently I wrote a short poem:
‘Ancient pine shivers, 
With last birds departing, 
Can winter be far?’
It sounds like something I stole
Yet it came into my head 
As a response to another poem

Still it seemed so classic in nature
I worried that when I posted it
Someone would say it’s from another poet
So I looked it up on Google
I could find nothing even close
At least in the English language

It still seems too classic to me
I would be very surprised
If Some Asian poet 
Had not written the same poem
It sounds so Chinese or Japanese
So Asian in its poetic language

Still I wrote it because of the feeling
It came from my soul if you will
Though some would credit the Muses
It all comes down to words put together
Expressing poetic feelings
That express who I am

Yamabuki
Sept 2010

I love @anjkan’s photos
They add a visual dimension
That is poetic in its own way
Different than some generic picture
So many photos are banal
Yet @anjkan transcends that
Her vision shows us depth of heart
That I’m happy to add to my poems

Yamabuki
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