Friday, May 12, 2017

Three Octets from Monday

Albina Ave Color Theory Octet

there's nothing blue like this sky, not the bluebells
swarming by the corrugated fence, shadows

of the fig boughs distorted on its rippled
surface; nothing yellow like the four dandelions

under the fig tree boughs, not the afternoon
sun, which is after all too white for human eyes;

nothing green like these fig leaves spreading fingers
through all dimensions they find a place to touch


Albina Ave Octet for Bai Juyi

near the flock of black patio umbrellas
ten peonies cast their shadows; Bai Juyi

tells me it’s all about regret when twilight
draws ash-gray curtains east to west & teardrop

bulbs burn amber filaments along their black
wire; down the street, a single orchid seen through

glass bricks but barely; rugosa rose blossoms
against a square fence built from bicyle wheels


Peninsula Park Conditional Octet

seen in a photo—for instance the photo
being taken of the posed man & woman

seated on its rim—the fountain’s spray would be-
come immortal diamonds arcing across

this afternoon without evaporation—
look! a few cream rose petals unfold themselves

to fathomless sky—though it’s not possible
camellia flowers still bloom in the flesh

Jack Hayes
© 2017

Note for the curious: The reference to Bai Juyi is to his poem 惜牡丹花
xī mŭ dān huā
, which can be found in my translation here.

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