From Left to Right I Ponder Politics and Poetry

From Left to Right I Ponder Politics and Poetry

In the evening I pour wine to celebrate
another day’s survival. My motions:
up to down, left to right. Glass

from cabinet, wine to mouth.
And then I return to the page.
The character for stone, ishi,

portrays a slope with a stone
at its base, and I take comfort
in knowing that as my knee aches

at the thought of climbing, ishi exists
in descent only. A volcano belches,
producing hi, fire, rising above the

cone, while earth, tsuchi, lies firm
beneath the shoots pushing up,
outward, and ame, rain,

consists of clouds and dotted
lines and the sky above. But if
wind is made of insects and

plums, do I assemble new meaning
without fact or wisdom, form
or assumed inflection, left to

down, up to right? Consider water,
its currents, its logic and needs.
Consider truth. This is how I think.

* * *

“From Left to Right I Ponder Politics and Poetry” appeared in Bonnie McClellan’s International Poetry Month celebration in February 2017.

15 thoughts on “From Left to Right I Ponder Politics and Poetry

  1. Loved this. I too have a fascination for Chinese characters. I learnt to read about 2,000 but write far, far, less. You really caught the spirit of deep fascination in the study. Each word has a history and communicates so much more than it’s face meaning. Though wholy impractical as a means of modern communication, I understand why in every case (China. Japan, Tiawan etc.) they have insisted on the continuation of their writing tradition (though of course in China it has been modified). While it can be a hinderence taking most of the first five years of schooling to memorise (and in the process molding young minds to memorise rather than create) it creates roots with culture and history, an understanding of the ancients.

    Liked by 1 person

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