Blue Hills 8

Q: “Who’s going to tell me who’s he?”
A “Ned Kelly”
Q: “And who was he?”
A (chorus): “A BUSH-RANG-ER”

The Shohaku scroll cracked & ridged
the monk grins on
at the fish & crayfish
4 feet away to the left
across a desert stretch of
hessian
& twenty years into the future
his back turned on 2 centuries
where schoolgirls in green uniforms
hiccup & giggle

Behind plate glass the diners seem to hang
like mannikins from join lines

Chambers & palace grounds obscured by low gold clouds
views in & around Kyoto c. 1650
colours on gold paper folding screen
purchased in 1980 with funds donated by Mr Kenneth Myer –
merchant of this city

Human motives count for nothing

only the objects & observations of several centuries scattered cultures

“two gross of broken statues”

flowery codices
their edges broken off like
Sapphic postcards

a number of birds, plants & rocks

Red painted columns
bear up slate blue tiles
Court lady under a tree
showered with small poems

I’m irresponsible I guess
want to retire to an
ENJOYING RAIN PAVILION

Muscular schoolgirls dwarf grey haired art historian type
who looks like a suave version of Bertrand Russell
– maybe it’s Bernard Smith?

“everyone’s madly
taking notes”
drawing painted faces of court ladies
“mine looks very westernish”

Gold coated bronze Ming temple guardian
(shortarse)
gumboots poke out below armoured kilt

“Conversing learnedly
in a garden landscape”

banyan (?) leaves – thousands
of little arrows

many thanks to Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs

a pointillist tree overhanging a mountain stream

“The plum blossom source”

Goodbye monks

taking notes on the stairs

– what am I looking at?
white projection screen?

art lovers in strange
ironed suits?


Poet's Note: October 1980

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