Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Autumn Wind Poem

Autumn Wind Poem

the autumn wind’s fresh
the autumn moon’s bright
leaf fall gathers & likewise scatters
jackdaw roosts, startles, perches again
how can we know the next day we’ll see each other
this season, this night: these passions can’t be governed

Jack Hayes © 2015
based on Lei Bai’s
秋 風 詞
qiū fēng cí

Image links to its source on Wiki Commons
English: Daurian Jackdaw Corvus dauuricus, Beijing
中文:  里寒鸦,摄于北京通县坝河,自拍。

Originally from zh.wikipedia; description page is/was here.
The original uploader was 中文维基百科的 Snowyowls

本文件采用知识共享“署名-相同方式共享 1.0 通用
that is: Published under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0 Generic

Saturday, November 21, 2015

"bird call in stream valley"

bird call in stream valley

a man at rest: tea olive blossoms fall
this night still: springtime mountain empty—
the moon comes out, alarming mountain birds:
for a time they chatter within the stream valley

© Jack Hayes 2015
based on Wang Wei’s
niǎo míng jiàn鸟鸣涧

Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
‘After Wang Wei's "Snow Over Rivers and Mountains"’: Wang Shih-min, 1668
[none of Wang Wei’s original paintings survive, but there are a number of later paintings based on his work]

Thursday, November 19, 2015

After Li Bai’s “Cháng xiāng sī”

After Li Bai’s “cháng xiāng sī”


endless pining
in the city named endless peace
crickets weave autumn weeping by the gold-railed well,
frost clings to my bamboo mat—bitter, bitter cold—tints it wintry
this single lantern flickers; I want to extinguish thoughts,
& roll back the curtain & look at the moon—my sighs hollow—
the beautiful one’s a blossom far off past the edge of clouds
above is the black expanse of lofty heavens
below is the green water with breakers & floods
the heavens endless, the road remote, my spirit’s flight bitter—
the dream spirit won’t arrive, the mountain pass rises arduous
endless pining
my heart laid waste

Jack Hayes © 2015
based on Li Bai’s Cháng xiāng sī 长相思

Image links to its source on Wiki Commons
The Mount Huashan in Xi'an [Xi’an is modern Chang’an—i.e., the city named “endless peace”, which is what Chang’an means]: photo by Flickr user Darren On The Road who has made it available under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

country music sutra

it becomes tiresome: all melodythe sparrow’s song with
no traffic roar behind it—sparrow in the hedge I never
see it emerge
                        & just last night I could see my future in
chill air outside the hospital walking through drizzle uphill
to the bus stop
                        you aren’t part of it in those cottonwood leaves
fallen yellow by the barbed wire fence in an Idaho
cemetery where we
                       could see our breath & smiled for a
photograph—today a drizzle falls while a pale yellow
sun tries to burn no
                       brighter than those leaves & as
damp in an eastern sky; when I walk out this morning on-
to the city’s pavement
                       I’ll put on that same jacket
for 5 miles looking for someone else who is likewise not
inhabiting that future—
                       that man smiling next to you in the
the country graveyard: myself & not, & when that
future opens its throat:
                       a sparrow in the hedge drowned in
the number 4 bus line’s rale & wheeze & cottonwoods
cast off yellow leaves in light
                       rain: this G chord arpeggiated to the
B string damped in faint air

Jack Hayes
© 2015

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Listening to Rain (After Jiang Jie)

Listening to Rain (After Jiang Jie)
(To the tune “Beautiful Lady Yu”)

as a young man i was listening to rain
amidst exquisite curtains, the courtesans’ song
red candles lighting the salon

in middle age i was listening to rain
on a transport boat running the big river,
sky falling low, away from my home,
a single goose bawling on the west wind

in old age i am listening to rain,
a guest of monks, my hair white as starshine:
sorrow, joy, separation, union, move me no more;
let rain keep falling until brilliant dawn

Jack Hayes
© 2015
Based on Jiang Jie (虞美人) 听雨      
(yú měi rén) tīng yǔ

Image links to its source on Wiki Commons
北宋 范宽 雪景寒林 (“Journey Between Stream & Mountains”): Fan K'uan, 1010 CE
Public Domain

Friday, October 30, 2015

november sutra composed in october

calculus of loss: two plane tree leaves yellow-brown
each curled like a hand sinking in the puddle on
the corner below the stop sign

descending chromatic bass line in E minor the
silver flute discharging the tune the Willamette
swirls frigid beneath the Steel Bridge

I tell you goodbye each afternoon the clouds the
blue sky the pine trees draining through the blinds &
question myself if I mean it

so we talked about death your death just the gray
speckled stones beyond the window eaves-
dropped & an empty gray sky

to my right as I walk the apple leaves are rust to
my left as I walk the hawthorn leaves are rust a
waning moon will rise bone-white

by evening—it’s easy to say the self is an
abstraction until that self peers through eyes seeing tomorrow
through a west window glazed by

sunset & lights in the sky you say the international
space station
sinking nearer & nearer earth &
then not even rocks not even absence

not a photograph not a snow drift not a white house
the plane tree at the corner sheds a brown leaf to concrete
large as my outstretched hand


Jack Hayes
© 2015

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"milk and eggs"

milk and eggs

this girl
got bold eyes
and she hide them
behind cool shades.
this girl cool.

this girl,
she look at the men
and she look at the women, too
this girl don't care that they see
they see black
they see sky looking back
see their own ideas

don't see them bold eyes
but they know
they feel that
in their skin
the small of their back

shoot through them
that look
those eyes
bold eyes

this girl
she smile
she walk on

a thousand adulteries of the heart
twelve of the mind
milk and eggs
back home for tea 

Mairi Graham-Shaw
© 2015

Image links to its source on Wiki Commons
Kniende in orange-rotem Kleid (Kneeling Female in Orange-Red Dress) - drawing; 1910: Egon Schiele
Public domain