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