Poems of the world and beyond, with Wordsworth’s sonnet to build round. Classical English Poetry has a drive from the sense of phrase that sometimes in contemporary work  gives way to the separate words. Language is a whole , as the world is a whole, and these poems both look at our busy world and look through it, just as Wordsworth wishes to be a quiet pagan again, or whatever it is he means: it’s up to us to interpret the poem.

Thanks to Tony Lewis-Jones, for his post-email connection of cities, and for reminding me to make a July KPA  post as I, too, floudered in my daily world — ravaged by treasure no doubt, as Gary Beck puts it in Bag Lady; and to Judith Taylor for her quirky start to a mundane working day and to Vivien Jones for a startlingly real haiku from Italy, and to Hongri and his translator for the longer poem about a world  behind ours. Dont forget to enjoy the  Chinese calligraphy below Manu’s  translation. The image with The City of Gold was supplied by the poet.

The idea now is that KPAI will continue to bring you a post every month, at any time of the month. It does depend on poets supplying their work and permission: any poems previously published (minimum three years ago) to which you hold the copyright.

email for poems, queries etc sally evans 35 at gmail dot com

montreal

 

Tony Lewis-Jones
Sun in Montreal, rain as usual in Bristol UK

Your loving email arrived today.
Love, you are a treasure
and your news is a delight
at any time. Your newest book
is out there in the World —
you fret like all authors over sales —
the margins beween success and failure
are as thin as ever.

There, the hobos hang out for a fix —
the Ghost of Slavery haunts our every action — 
and the gap between the rich and the poor
has become a chasm only a few can cross.
Soon maybe the city will burn again
with the feral anger of the streets —
but this being an English summer
currently, it just keeps raining.

first published on the Writers Cafe, USA 2012

worlsis too mch

William Wordsworth

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.—Great God! I’d rather be
A pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

from Poems in two volumes (1807).

woman tramp

Gary Beck
Bag Lady

No longer young,
but not much older than me,
I have seen her often
in subway visions,
ravaged by her treasure
simmering in shopping bags,
her eyes the hunger of zoo animals,
with a wrinkled, worried face
that will not allow tomorrows

from Days of Destruction, Slurve Press 2009

van

Judith Taylor
The Dog Warden’s apprentice

Work yawns to take you in again,
reliable as the automatic doors
that wheeze and open into your face.
And through you go, telling yourself you’ll last.
You always do. It’s a shame, though, you’re so early:
you echo, crossing the atrium
alone, like somebody truly doomed.
Fortify yourself. Remember heartening things
you’ve seen – in the street, at the bus-stop;
from the bus. Think of the Dog Warden’s apprentice:
he was young and dark and slim and laughing wickedly
in the passenger seat of the yellow van as it passed.

First published Koo Press,  Earthlight 2006

sparrow

Vivien Jones
Haiku after Florence

Thick dark chocolate,
roof-top of the Uffizi,
a sparrow underfoot

from About Time, Too, Indigo Dreams 2010

 

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Yuan Hongri (China)
Translated by Manu Mangattu (India)

The City of Gold

Ah! Into a pleasant hallway of gold
Thou didst the crystal of the sky mould.
A shining City of Gold
Chanting unto me from far afield.

Into the golden gate I strode
A palace colossal to behold.
Without, a soaring Tower to dazzle
A towering wondrous Grand Castle.

It seemed to the past a billion years I travelled.
Perchance, a primal giant my eyes beheld;
In the breeze his sleeves fluttered.
A transparent golden Robe uncluttered;

The appearance was holy, hallowed.
With a sweet smile they bellowed
As tall as a mountain they loomed
But as light as birds they seemed.

Into a golden palace I sauntered
To regard the sacred giant
His body was like the Sun
Enveloped by a golden flame.

In the hall at the centre he sat
Where bloomed many a huge lotus
Some golden giants too were there
Sitting on the lotus flaunting a smile.

In that Grand Palace studded with gems
Hung an enormous mould of gold;
A mellifluous song lulled all along
Rumbling like thunder, causing concussion.

On the front wall I saw engraved
In a noble script, an impressive word;
Resplendent and magnificent, the whole palace
Was filled with fragrance – wonderful, intoxicating.

Clouds with golden wings
Were flying over: all a mirage
A blossoming thrice wonderful
Blooming in the garden outside the temple.

I saw a towering Castle
Like a mountain, upright in the sky
Brilliant design, gorgeous styling
As if God had built it Himself

Colourful gems shine like a mosaic,
A medley of all kinds of strange drawing;
A round gold tower
Like a forest stands in space.

A broad circular Gallery then I saw
Surrounded by the golden castle
Each column was as high as ten thousand meters
Carving out numerous exquisite images.

I walked into a great hall,
I saw some huge statues
Like a group of golden giants
Smiling unto me.

I crossed a huge arch
Into a golden hall
To see a huge picture
Hung on the hall wall.

Each portrait of a transparent flash
Could draw a Golden Paradise
As if a three-dimensional space
Magically unfolded before thine eyes

I heard a mysterious music
Which made my heart take wings
A huge picture of the holy girl
On a plucked instrument was manifest.

She sat in a huge palace
A giant circle around the ring seat
Every giant smiled and smiled
Curling around a golden flame

This girl’s elegant posture
Wearing a golden dress
Body shining like a huge halo
Resembling the head of a golden sun.

A huge palace like a fortress
Outside the temple was the endless Garden
Flying golden feather bird
The garden with its pavilions, terraces and open halls

A blossoming of the wondrous exotic
Giving out an intoxicating fragrance
Like a sweet girl
With her model of elegant charm

A sparkling waterfall
Circling along from the hill
As a crystal emerald
Haunting this amazing Garden.

A group of boys and girls:
Dressed in bright and colourful clothes
Some would sit and rest in the Pavilion
Some would walk in the flowers, in the game.

I saw a huge old man
Sitting in a red cloud.
Only a crane flew around
And there was a huge Phoenix.

Another city in the sky
Far from the golden light
At a grand chic
The sky stood in layers

I seemed to hear the call of the divine
The old man came leisurely.
He lifted a huge golden book
And a kind of novel language I heard spoken

I saw a great line of words
Like a row of golden giants
They turned into a ray of light, and,
Suddenly flew into my chest.

My body was sweet and happy
The moment turned momentous
The sacred old man stood beside me
His smile filled the air of the city.

I became a golden giant
Beckoned back to the golden castle
Then came a giant
Who smiled and called out my name

Our bodies were just as big
We were like twin brothers
And Lo! This huge golden castle
Seemed to belong to us.

All on a sudden I saw a vision
I too was a holy giant
In every palace in the city of gold
I too had left my glad imprints.

3.18 .1998

 

黄金城市

远红日

天空的水晶啊

你化成金色的长廊

一座黄金的城市

在远方向我歌唱

我跨进了那座黄金的城门

看到了一座座巨大的宫殿

一座座高耸天外的巨塔

一座座巍峨宏大的城堡

我仿佛来到了亿万年前

看到了一个个远古的巨人

他们的衣袖啊随风飘飘

仿佛是金色透明的袈裟

他们的容颜神圣庄严

又含着甜蜜动人的微笑

他们的身体高大如山岳

却像鸟儿一般轻巧

 

我走进一座黄金的宫殿

见到一位神圣的巨人

他的身体像一轮太阳

环绕一层层金色的火焰

 

他端坐在这座大殿的中央

周围盛开巨大的金莲

一些金光闪耀的巨人

微笑地坐在莲花之上

 

宏大的金殿嵌满宝石

悬挂一幅幅巨大的金像

一种甜蜜悦耳的歌声

像雷鸣一般轰轰震荡

 

我看到一行行巨大的词语

刻满了大殿正面的金壁

整座大殿宏伟辉煌

弥漫着奇妙醉人的芳香

 

一只只翅翼如云的金鸟

飞满了这座金殿的上空

一朵朵巨大绚丽的奇葩

盛开在这座殿外的花园

 

我看到一座巍峨的城堡

像一座山岳挺立云霄

绝妙的设计华丽的造型

仿佛是上帝亲手建成

 

五彩的宝石熠熠闪耀

镶嵌出种种奇异的画图

一座座圆形的黄金巨塔

像一座座森林矗立太空

 

一条宽广的圆形长廊

环抱着这座黄金城堡

每一根圆柱都高达万米

雕刻出无数精美的图像

 

我走进了一座圆形巨厅

看到一些巨大的雕像

仿佛一群黄金的巨人

正在向我迷人地微笑

 

我跨过一座巨大的拱门

走进一座金色的大厅

看到一幅幅巨大的画像

挂满了这座大厅的金壁

 

每一副画像透明闪光

画出一座座黄金乐园

仿佛一个个立体空间

神奇地展现在你的眼前

 

我听到一阵玄妙的音乐

令我的心儿怦然而动

一副巨画中的圣洁少女

正在弹拨着一种乐器

 

她坐在一座巨大的金殿

周围环座着一圈圈巨人

每一个巨人都欢喜微笑

周围缭绕着金色的火焰

 

这少女的身姿端庄优雅

穿着一件金色的裙裳

身体闪放巨大的光环

头顶一轮金色的太阳

 

巨大的金殿像一座皇宫

殿外是一望无际的花园

空中飞翔金羽毛的大鸟

园里是一座座楼阁亭台

 

一朵朵巨大闪光的奇葩

悠悠飘出醉人的芳香

仿佛一个个芬芳的少女

现出各种优雅的风姿

 

一条光芒闪闪的瀑布

从一座金山上飘然洒落

化成一条晶莹的玉带

萦绕着这座神奇的花园

 

一群群欢笑的少男少女

穿着绚丽多彩的衣裳

有的在亭台上静坐休憩

有的在花丛中漫步游戏

 

我看到一位巨大的老人

端坐在一朵红云之上

周围飞翔着一只只白鹤

还有一只只巨大的凤凰

 

天空闪耀另一座城市

远远发出金色的光芒

一座座宏大别致的金殿

层层叠叠矗立在天上

 

我仿佛听到神圣的召唤

悠然来到了老者的身边

他托起一部巨大的金书

念诵着一种新奇的语言

 

我看到一行行巨大的词语

仿佛一排排金色的巨人

他们化成一道道光芒

倏然飞入了我的胸膛

 

我的身体甜美欢喜

一瞬间变得异常巨大

我身边那位神圣的老人

微笑着飘入空中的城市

 

我变成了一个金色的巨人

回到了那座黄金的城堡

这时走过来一位巨人

微笑着呼喊我的名字

 

我们的身体同样巨大

仿佛是一对孪生兄弟

这座巨大的黄金城堡

仿佛本属于我们自己

 

我恍然看到了一幅幅画面

我原本是一位神圣的巨人

这黄金之城的每一座宫殿

都曾留下过我快乐的足迹

 1998.3.18 北京

 

 

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