Monday, September 21, 2015

POEM: "A Monkey Looks at the Stars"

A Monkey Looks at the Stars
                                                           for Hugh Bohane
Riding a bus through Yunnan
Chinese dinosaur fields up ahead
Nothing surprises today in the villages;
Dumbstruck by my own foolishness
Fairly certain that I’ll do most of it again
The tunnels take us through the mountains.

We are grown accustomed
By the familiar, taking all of it in
According to old stories, old names;
Although everything that rings a bell
Is hardly a prescription, there's nothing
Doesn't remind me of something else.
In Dali, the mountains are high
And the Emperor is very far away.
At The Bad Monkey bar, similarity,
It's easier than arguing. And ancestors
Understand their approximate descendants
Will know a thing, a person, and a place.
A small dog is chained in the corner.
When I ask her why, she says it’s because
She doesn’t have a quiet heart. She smiles.
I want to say to her, Past attraction, but
Not past love, yet the stray dog has a soul
But I'm falling up to a perfect sky, and I don’t.
                                                                             Dali, Yunnan

© 2011 Rob Schackne

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