Ronald Baytan

(Manila / Philippines)

Pan Zhang - Poem by Ronald Baytan

In the south, there once lived Pan Zhang,
A man of immense beauty and skill
In poetry. He moved like a gentle wave,
And his skin glistened like berries in summer.
Men from the east and west had come
To be his friend, but he liked none of them
And soon the cherries began falling one
By one, and he stopped waiting.

Wang Chongxian from the kingdom
of Choi heard about his fame and wanted
To know the poems and the name.
They met by the lamp of Zhang's gate.
Autumn mist enveloped the two,
And syllables issued from their lips
Like blossoms falling upon the earth's lap.

The two lived together and shared
The pillow, and watched the trees
Change their color season
After season, until youth and beauty
Became faded portraits hung on oblivious walls.
They passed away together, and together
Blessed the ground of Mount Loufu.

One day, a tree grew from their tomb --
Its branches and leaves intertwined
As if in a tight embrace, and the people
Named it the Tree of Shared Pillow.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012



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