Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Departure

for *Hai Zi (1964 – 1989)

Have you gone into the sunflower,
young brother of Van Gogh?
Have the ravens lovingly picked
your mangled body clean?

When you laid your life on the tracks,
that whistle to the void, calling, calling,
was it for the empty plains of Tibet,
the sea waving its flags by Fujian?

Perhaps the boyhood fields, lush
Anhui, the ancestral grass?  Land
of autumn, or the stars, the moon?
:  We trace your comet in the sky.

Rumors of love’s neglect, yet I see
you upon a beach, arms flung wide,
qi of your grin, your child’s love,
charms, faults, embracing the All.

That iron bearing down—your last
train out to the cosmic hinterlands,
the psychedelic sun, where the coin
is poetry, and all the gods are young. 

~ Lauren Tivey

*Hai Zi (Zha Haisheng), a young Chinese poet who wrote of nature, love, loneliness, and death. He was from a poor family in Anhui, and went on to study law at Peking University at 15, Later, he taught Philosophy and other subjects, and devoted much time to writing poetry. He committed suicide at the age of 25, by lying on the train tracks near Shanhaiguan. He left behind about 200 poems, and though never published much in his lifetime, he has become a cult figure in modern Chinese poetry. 

**Note: This is a salvaged poem from my expansion drive crash (written last year). 

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