Question the Tide

The sun settles itself beyond the horizon,

With a gathering mist clouding the ocean,

I stand like a figurehead at the dock’s edge.

I watch the ships I harbour with much devotion.

I turn my back to the sea ablur,

A great wave looms over my back.

In the darkest of nights, I am engulfed,

By a seething mass of black.

The sun tentatively peaks over the water’s surface,

On my back I lie, facing the sky blue,

My eyes are closed, but other senses heightened,

I feel how life is soon due.

God lies within the essence of living.

To that there is much I would say,

But no one will listen to a tale drenched in sorrow,

When the morning sunlight floods the pathway of today.

The jungle chatter is smothered by a thick canopy,

I gather the birds I spotted from a clearing to the sky,

Each is coloured and varied like a prayer. Over the world’s edge not many can fly.

From the Sky

The night air is cold to the touch,

As I step out my front door,

To the crescendo of fighting,

And my neighbours engulfed in war.

A thousand arrows are flung over the city’s walls,

Setting each and every building alight,

And by the shining of a frowning moon,

I am struck, and my day’s end is in sight.

And now I exist merely to ponder,

And to treasure my very own night,

That will last the length of my life,

With time brought on by another’s fight.

So I collapse to the floor,

The arrow an angry person,

And my body a helpless door,

Such that my condition does worsen.

I feel my conscious slip,

On the arrow that has pierced my heart,

To something with a steel tip,

That severs life apart.

So I imagine what a strong building,

Could be built with all this steel,

That is wasted stealing human life,

And thus I no longer feel.

Exploration

For many a millennia,

It would be all they would ever know,

That the range of icy mountains,

Was the edge of the world, and so,

Who were they to come and say,

That the people who lived below,

Were really truly ignorant,

And that their knowledge stooped them low?

Sugar

The dragon spirals through the infinite shadow,

Devouring the soul, as goes the prediction.

But the beast was crazed and blind,

And inside its skull lies an affliction.

The sun, pierced by the peak of a mountain,

Rose and outshone the stars.

And reveals the lakes and rivers of honey;

An addiction is a jail with no bars.

So the dragon ran low of its reserves,

And tumbled out the sky and to the ground.

Shattered on the dirt it bellowed,

Thus the animal once revered, was no longer renowned.

The clock struck thrice, and the winter arrived.

Snow drove the dragon to a crawling speed,

Up the side of a mountain, to where the lava rests.

To where the dragon, for its sight, would plead.

In a flash, the mountain erupted,

And amongst the avalanche it thundered,

The dragon was buried between snow and rock,

Nature’s sarcophagus, older than every hundred.

But with the volcano uncovered,

No one was quite sure what to say,

Where had the lava spouted from?

And if so, where had it come to stay?

Instead, only the dragon had tasted,

As it had descended into the mountain’s heart,

That the lava was merely a sweet, nearly boiled tea,

And that would have torn its soul apart.

Glass Rational

The biting cold didn’t snap,
At ankles after a warm round of drinks.
So when she was thrown to the snow,
Out through the front door, she hardly blinked.

It was late by now,
And the spotlight moon was high,
Or at least she would have seen,
If it wasn’t for the two men that loomed nigh.

It took her forever to recall what she’d done,
As she scrabbled to her feet,
And confronted the two men,
Who she knew she’d have to meet.

And whilst the cold was hardly felt,
Nor was the first punch,
That landed at her stomach, hard.
The advantages of being drunk.

So when she was left there,
And slept the night in the snow,
She woke with the sun gushing,
Down the streets, but she didn’t know.

What had she done to cause an altercation?
And who should she apologise to?
So to solve these issues, she stumbled,
Through the front door, for another pint of two.

Ryokan

Snow fluttered from the heavens,
Topping the roads with white,
Whilst thrust down the streets came,
The hurried wind, a knifing plight.

But this only went to expose,
The warmth of a fireplace,
Which gave the windows and pleasant glow,
And the inn a pleasing face.

So through a harsh door I step,
To the turning of every head,
With the drink apparent in every soul.
They seem drunken, but not yet dead.

But soon the laughter and noise returns,
And from the fire, I brave the sudden heat,
With that I stumble on through,
To the corner, to a window, to my seat.

Monologue

For I have seen,
The ruins of a grand temple,
hidden now amongst groping vines;
Under a canopy thick with green.

Further North, a basin rests,
With a beast at its heart.
Through the mist, I caught its scream,
As its three spider limbs scrabble in the dark.

“If only I was done, for Mt. Bonochi tires,
Facing an army of clouds, and relentless rain…”
And the story went on; but little did the listeners know,
The temple remained unseen, and the beast in the mist unslain.

Eastward

Once more, we can look unto the East,
To a grove of resting cherry trees,
That sleep standing in the pooling darkness.
It was once believed they were ancient deities.

Thus, through prayers they bare their fruit,
But we find the same in Autumn too,
That despite our lack of words,
The red cherries will still grow true.

Sleeping in Day

The river trundles softly ahead of me,
Whilst I perch at the edge under a tree,
But I think now, how much of this is to be,
How bad do I want to know? I’d argue; I’d plea.

I step closer on the ledge,
Teetering on my toes overhanging the edge,
It is here my feet into the sand I wedge,
How bad is really what I pledge?

My book fell then, from the pocket at my breast,
Landing face up on the river, open at the best,
Page 39, I spotted and had usually stressed,
Yellow Crane Tower, Cui Hao’s finesse.

Yet it sank to the bottom of the riverbed,
Three hundred poems, bristling with inspiration, dead,
Yet when I wake from my slumber in my own bed,
I am filled, for the day, with some instinctual dread.