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The Village On The Water IV

Thump, thump: starved sinews tightening -- Fish contorting in the bilge beneath the gunwale; Lidless, bulging, reddened eyes, swivelling upwards, Protruding horribly from the straining sockets, Express stupefied amazement at inconceivable Abruptness Of a former world pulled inside out. The opening and shutting of mouths, almost as if Attempting to fashion words for the injustices of Such a cruel, monstrous act. Desperately trying to draw on that which can No longer be found. Conscious of this agonized, suffocating death They endure, we are prompted To seek endorsement from Gonggong... Lest we should suffer his violent and Destructive displeasure. Soon the nameless thing that comes to strangle All living things Will come searching for our breath also... But not this day. Today, to satisfy urgent needs... These fish are compelled to give up on theirs. Choruses of bird song. And orioles serenade Returning wupengs. "Tie up your boats", the birds sing, "we will Watch Over your mornings catch"...they too are Alert to the shaded heron. An extending, accentuated, placing of the feet; Huddled and wrapped in obsequious and Divine inscrutability; Ever vigilant -- ever cautious; Stalks with painstaking deliberation of a Creeping Snow Leopard; Headband more blacker than Summer's Thundering clouds; In the narrowing slit of the pupil -- an intense, Glittering! Pitiless as the murderous assassin that steals Through the unlit nights. But we know his artful ways...and stow away The hard-earned prize. Now we will sit cross legged and eat Hot-dry noodles, steamed wuchang and pork-rib Soup with lotus root; And, raising smooth, round, porcelain drinking Cups, decorated with brightly fired colours, To our salty lips, sip sweetened green-tea Made with water from the blessed Toad Hole; After having drank from this rare hole, Lu Yu, Left letters... And declared it -- "The Fourth Spring Under Heaven!" My wife, shuffling about the floor as a timid, Padded quail, Sighing absently in that abstract manner, softly Chiding and scolding unto herself... She has a secret she has not yet disclosed of me. It will be a boy...the priest in the orange robe Foretold of this. The boy shall fulfil his earthly duty to his Heavenly ancestors as I have done... And as all those who have come before me Have so done; Fathering children is an honourable duty... And must, therefore, be considered higher Than mere obligation. She will tell me when she is ready to tell me... The only permitted privilege for a female. I am well acquainted with the rules of the Game...having played this game before. Outside, flattened evening stretching Faraway behind fading purple hills; Just as easily be another clearing dawning. Drowsy, lapping waters; its lulling swell Putting me in mind of contented sleep When visited upon a woman's shallow, Heaving chest. Creaking wupengs strain in sympathy with Creaking moorings; Flurrying snow, caught in the glare of Sputtering lanthorns, Falls silently over deserted verandas; A fragile sun...finally relinquishes... Collapses down... Sinks into the bottomless depths of endless Green forests. That huge Autumn Moon... As big as an island in the emerald sea!

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020

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Date: 1/10/2021 5:25:00 AM
On to V. mesmerizing. ~ Elaine
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