poets and autumn

poets and autumn
    to Dean English, the Kaikoura poet & painter who suggested it

Qu Yuan

acknowledgement to the website of the General Office of Hubei Province for the use of this portrait of Qu Yuan

i like that
of poets
and autumn
the ink wash
and the frame
just a hung
scroll on
a wall
of sky
and autumn
hanging around
each other
for centuries
now eyeing
each other
across a drift
of leaves that
could be blood
spilt into sand
a burning fire
on a river breeze
just leaves turning
on the edge of
season hanging
out with each
other in their
lonely walk on
ridge cloud to the
right and left
of them
telling the
trembling secrets
of why they are
like they are
each to
the other
one hung
on the other
when the one fails
the poet who
saw his state
fallen* a scarf
around his
neck as he
the last hope
from an autumn
grieving tree
a fallen leaf
caught hanging
from the poet’s
written in
down the
down the
wind down
the dark gorge
with a moon
broken on


october 2012

*Oblique reference to the Chinese poet Qu Yuan (343–278 BC), who drowned himself after the collapse of the kingdom of Chu.

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