SPRIGS FOR A SUNDAY    [drafts 18 April 2021], Erik Muller

Dale Champlin, Desert Woman 3, Collage, 2021

SPRIGS FOR A SUNDAY    [drafts 18 April 2021]


Who would think of drawing
with ink and a light wash
plum blossoms in moonlight?

Today I walk our street briskly.
A sharp breeze strews
pink-petal snowflakes.*

*   *   *

Wearing Shorts, First Time This Year

Startled each year, I
reveal my pale walking sticks.

April morning’s brisk air’s
creek water up to my knees.

I feel what a tree feels—
warm sun, chill breeze.

*   *   *

From the same ground,
one maple leafs out green
and its neighbor red.

The mind amazes and
delights—how it shades
from one color to the next.
                                               for Paul Bodin

*   *   *

When I learn the poet
I am reading is dead,
black type on a white page
must stand for the voice.

*   *   *

A pebble has its purpose—
lying about, then carried,
smoothening, translucensing.

*   *   *

Moon, I hear your names
but Yang Wan-li tickles me,
writing you’re “a jar of ice”!

I tried loving one like that.
Tonight, looking up,
I say, “O you unobtainable!”**

*   *   *

Beside a house where
Daniel had lived once,
I broke off a sprig
of lilac, full blossom
and perfume fresh
as a washed baby.

I held it as I walked
his old neighborhood
and into my landscape
of his death. Sometime
a greeny bough will help
lead me to find him.

*   *   *

you can’t call back
the child you lost

*   *   *

*“Plum Blossoms by Moonlight,” Ma Yuan, 12th-13th century
**“Drinking Alone beneath the Moon,” Yang Wan-li, 12th century
Both from Heaven My Blanket, Earth My Pillow,
Poems by Yang Wan-li, translated by Jonathan Chaves

Erik Muller

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