The Trees Will Sleep

Chrystalla,

lost girl,

your pale mark

and mulberry punches

underdressed

in the memory of your old lovers,

their bodies

time-bent with the apple boughs,

Siamese skin

cut from other sky.

 

You must

remember to breathe

in the sincerity of night,

where

those casual hearts still beat

like a pomegranate morning,

and

those two rising suns still loom

deathless

behind your freckled eyes.

 

Karla M.

Goddess

Her face points upward,

snow-covered precipice,

a wing of light

against the city’s blackened cheek.

 

Embark upon the ancient spice trails

of her breath,

follow the Li River

and set sail to Elephant Mountain,

 

a frozen emerald

 shivering in the lemon sunset,

like the ripples in rock-pools

at her feet.

 

Step free from dream’s edge

and pull down the sky,

heaven’s curtain

                                where

 

‘rice grows and the land is invisible,

by the pomegranate water,

                                      in the clear air

                                                   over Li Chiang’.

I, Luna

Shiver

‘neath the ebb and flow of a tide,

your water-bitten skin

off-blue

dripped in night’s inkwell.

 

Lay under her

and she’ll have seen the sun once,

warmer shoulders parting waves,

two eyes wide like cities

blanketed by stars,

 

breathing the same sky,

but in search for clearer seas.

She washes over you,

this

rose-tinted moon,

 

and half-light at dark

in Earth-spun sleep,

she’ll carry you from the shore

to set you free,

let you leave

like driftwood on the ocean.

 

for O.

Ha – La – Li

(LoveSuicide for A-Dong)

‘And over Li Chiang, the snow range is turquoise

Rock’s world that he saved us for memory  

                  a thin trace in high air…’    – Ezra Pound

 

Cold fingers sketch the mist,

your outline

++++++pencilled

through dawn’s paper napkin.

 

I follow you under rose-boughs

overhung

 

++++++this cobble-road –

a sleeping scar in our giant’s backbone

that feathers ghosts

+++++++++++++++++++across

snow-peached skin.

 

I cup your hands at the crest,

cradling them to me

++++++before leaping

 

and our eyes

+++++++melt

++++++++++++++into the air.

In humble recognition of…

National Poetry Day, my upcoming trip to the foothills of the Himalayas and valleys of the Yangtze in just under a fortnight, and arguably my most favourite poet – Ezra Pound:

Separation on the River Kiang

Ko-Jin goes west from Ko-kaku-ro,
the smoke-flowers are blurred over the river.
His lone sail blots the far sky.
And now I see only the river,
the long Kiang, reaching heaven.

And if any of you like what you see here, and are interested in evocative Imagist poetry, I encourage you to take a look at Pound’s Four Poems of Departure, of which the above is an excerpt.

Red Fescue

We slip in unnoticed,

through the grassy whiskers

flaying your creamy skin

without a murmur,

seeking out our craggy spot

hidden amongst the flowered violets.

 

We lay together,

until the silver pond in the distance

becomes our bed sheet,

the hook of our ribs glued

like the fairy-rings

of mud-chips in our hair –

 

the sunset sinks further

into the bruise-blue of your eyes –

our mirror-bent reflection

now painted across the sky.

You look up,

catching greyless clouds at your fingertips.

 

Karla M. Alexander

Turtle Shells and Dipping Eggs

So, here we are.

It’s early November, and Rab is on his twenty-third cigarette since noon. I watch as he pulls deeply, as though it’s the last drag he’ll ever have.

The end burns bright, making my eyes hurt in the darkness. The butt crumples, defeated between his rough fingers. Unsticking it from his tacky lips, he discards.  Resting a hand on his thigh and keeping his mouth closed, he clears his throat.

He is sitting to my right. I shift a little in my seat, and wait for him to answer.

Karla M. Alexander