Warren Falcon (04/23/52 - xxxx / Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA)
Po Chu-i From Far Away Thinks On His Angry Wife
Of Po Chu-i, Chinese Governor & Poet (772-846 CE) : As one of his poems explains, he suffered from paralysis at the end of his life, one leg becoming useless.
'A well-fed contentment...
is there no greater achievement in life? '
1 The Wife
Her heavy face displaces among
clouds, swollen with hard tears
her sorrowful gaze calls for the
always hungry child who was lost
when they were poor, without work,
and down on luck.
The frozen ground
reluctantly yields these many
years unmoved by tears slow to
name his little grave, too long unmarked.
It now wears a monument tall, of finest jade.
'Too late for you, Little Stinger, '
he carves it himself, again and again,
years now, upon the stone,
'A well-fed contentment...'
and all the rest, but in his
mind it is never done.
'Old Po, ' he thinks to himself,
writing another verse in his head,
his own epitaph upon the other side
of the jade-stone, 'now rides a wild
horse to the end of all roads.'
Weary with the business of state,
of commerce he now cares less
though once he was poor and
one dear son is dead as a result,
'Old wife will never let me forget.'
'Of pleasing the inconsolable, '
he writes in his head upon horseback
in mane and tail, poems wait to be
untangled, brushed smooth with the
ink and quill of miles until there
is some rest, a cozy inn rare, more
often a tent pitched which lends
simple peace compared to the mansion
home in the wealthy province, the
ponds full, barns full, servants
many and busy, all the fruit of miles
traveled to keep a fragile peace
which needs constant mending.
He thinks of his gray wife.
'It is as it is and should be,
of love these conditions come
bringing many mouths and
fuller hearts to break for love
and life seek to be undone
again and again.
'Such is the life the Allotter
gives. Why complain when one
has the gift of a patient horse,
Steady, an obedient, good companion?
'Why lament when eyes may
at beauty of all kinds still
rejoice; even of human woes
which break the heart much
music can be made, and without
'And without false pity, ' he sings,
'a coin can be given and heaven
restored until the next hunger pang,
from this real friendship with strangers
is born, the best, of gentleness without
debt, untangling from mane to mind.'
'Untangling from mane to mind,
one takes real pleasures as they
come and thanking the glad day
banks them in the vaulted heart.'
Not given to self-pity, only
fond of nostalgic reminiscence,
he loves fabrics smooth, soft,
purchased in Yangshao where
he loves Spring's First Blossom
with whom he grew up, courting
her near the auspicious old well
of Silk Moths Aplenty.
He thinks of these and many things
upon his horse during the long journey
through the difficult passages,
'Through the difficult passages
one cannot avoid accumulating
much dust, ' he composes out
loud for the horse to hear,
'perhaps our only wealth dear
friend of friendless miles.'
He rests awhile in the wide
orchard where bright plum flowers
rain, decides to unroll his pallet
to sleep beside the humming glade.
'Raiment, ' he writes in his sleepy head,
'of bees and leaves. An old man puts the
best plum in his sleeve to bring home
to his wife.'
'Why strive when nature is bounteous
and all ills can be made right with
wet sweetness? '
Comments about this poem (Po Chu-i From Far Away Thinks On His Angry Wife by Warren Falcon )
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