Joseph Torra – Two Poems from After the Chinese

Joseph Torra

Two Poems from After the Chinese

One autumn day, I traveled to Dragon Gate with Mei Yao Ch’en and Ou Yang Hsiu.  In the
evening, we boated on the river.  After drinking and reading many poems, each of us composed a poem to fully express the pleasure of the occasion.

Approaching a mountain pass
the boat lags in the current
as the sun slowly sets.  Rapids
too shallow to navigate, we drift
the middle flow cups in hand
contemplating the landscape.
At an island mid-stream
we set ashore. I carve
a pipe out of a pear
offer my friends
hemp to smoke.
I hang my feet
in the water.  Mei
plucks water chestnuts.
Ou Yang smiles wide,
wields his brushes,
composes a new poem
shouting out lines
“Red trees line both banks.
The Thousand Caves stand
silent in the evening mist.”
Pine trees shiver in vapors.
Waterfowl bob and float.
A brook trickles
among rocks.  We three

come beyond the world.
Far off in the city
lanterns are being lit.


On a rainy autumn day, in an old Dodge Dart, Joe Dunn, Stephen Jonas and I drove cross-country to visit Jack Spicer.

made it
far as
when the
Dodge died

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