on reading Chinese poet, Gu Cheng’s, poem
`Mu Chuang’ – ‘Grave Bed’


from the beach
a pale stroke through
all that light
the sea holds
out a bay
of sun
struck sail
of the wind waking
a darkness
across it at times
the small remembrance
of things, waves
‘cat’s paws’* the
pine on this hill
has always taken
its shadow back
unto itself
given some to
imagine a dry house
out of the
sea-driven rain,
you to
imagine good rest
in earth
under branch
the wind hauls
upon leaving
a brightness
the sea

august 1996

*the definition provided by the website, ‘The Natural Navigator’, is as follows:
 When a gust of wind touches the surface of calm water, it creates a localised patch of bigger ripples. The effect has the nickname ‘cat’s paws’

Traditional guqin piece ‘Ode to living in the mountains’ [山居吟] played by Bai Wuxia


Copyright © 1996 Peter Le Baige.  All Rights Reserved

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