Saturday, August 22, 2015

Two Water Sonnets, Nos. 256 and 257

Seascape (Sargent), Sonnet #257

The former troop transport sails west,
Back to the Philippine Islands,
Now with a family of nine.
I clutch at the rail as each crest
Breaks and falls. I struggle to stand,
Looking at the horizon line.
I am six. The sea a billion.
Both of us younger than the sun.
Flying fish and porpoises leap,
As if to lead us past the deep.
The Deep, from which the waves, dark, wild,
And cold, grasping, thrust up, and flail
Like the hands of a drowning child --
And through them ships serenely sail.

The Cascade of Mingxianquan at Mt. Hutouyan (Shitao), Sonnet #256

Like arrows shattering when they strike stone,
The rivulets off Mt Hutouvan mist.
Shredded by the air, they cease to exist,
Voicing their fall in a moaned monotone.
Each trace has drifted over time, leaving
Long scars (now covered by lichen and moss),
The whole like portions of the human brain.
Now beyond the stone, the waters, weaving
In an updraft, are perpetual loss
Restored above by perpetual rain.
We stand enshrouded in moist air, blinking
And cold by a pool beneath the cascade,
Watching each other as we slowly fade,
Ideas worn thin by too much thinking.

No comments: