Friday, May 11, 2012

Poem after THE ORIGIN OF THE RIVER by Wang Kai

The soil turns year after year, chthonic
Spirits slipping the loose bonds of earth--
Piled up, they are tools grinding
To get back to the deepening fields
Where the earth and water combine into the brown
Loam.  Singing out this passion, river

Spirits speak soft notes that rhyme with the river
on several levels:   the green earthly
level, the sound of the ground and the fields,
the air where dirt meets the sky and grinds
against heaven.  Oh yes, there are chthonic
unions in the soil.  The earth is brown

and as perfect as love.  The water is brown
and as perfect as love.  What’s remarkable, what’s grinding,
is the movement of bodies, celestial, chthonic,
water-bound in filaments of fiber, in the earthy
imagination of the artist.    The river
speaks to the land, the fields,

row after row of hard or fallow fields,
approaching the horizon, the earthy
end of this world.  We are here watching the grinding
formation of spirits in their attempt to contact the brown
space between planets,  heavenly opposite to the chthonic
patch we call Earth.  Even at the river’s

forking into three distinct rivers
the truth of the land and it people is an earthy
truth that comes to bear much later in the brown
spirit world that surrounds us all.  Grinding
its way to the heart of the matter,  the fields
are alive with dancing and ritual to the chthonic

sequence of the seasons, the dusky chthonic
customs flow forward like the river, a brown
lesson among the sweet orchards, a grinding
of fruit into cider.  In the meantime, we await the earthy
rendition of fate to the promise of fields
the sweet song of rivers.

And it is here I’ve seen the brown, grinding
fibers and earthy colors reminding me of fields
of rivers, of the chthonic impulse.

1 comment:

Samantha Anne Carrillo said...

I REALLY dig this one.