Monday, June 13, 2022

Senior Poetry Prize 2

More excellent poems from the recent Peter Dix Memorial Prize for Poetry, this time from Yilong She.


Moss-encrusted rocks littered along the bank
Low-lying leaves of a willow weeping
just above the stream,
in shining rings rippling a still sky.
The vast dawn spread over the waters,
Where reflections like sparks, bright and vivid
Catch the expanding ripples and the misty air,
Some troubledness in the wails of the birds.
The trees afar are taller than the horizon
Shadowing the breeze to the river depth,
Where salmon dip and plump-trout
Glide under the cattail and bladderwort -

A white creature
Mingling a descending ball of light,
Erect on one golden cane.
Calling out, and louder yet,
The mist and parading shadows flee,
Between the rows of glowing, golden foliage
Between the flowing, flowering ripples
her wings beat on.
And call back, in deeper mimicking, -
Let me be stirred
By the murmuring trees or the humming birds;
Will she again sing the next spring?



A long dream, cold.
Damp cracklings of fire
In vicious tenderness
Sing, ring, and fling
Itself down. Drowning
The soft fragrance of
Hot oil in the street-
Vendors’ buns. Lights
In green, yellow and
Red blinking rigidly,
Mechanical liveliness
That sparks a humid
Splash of fresh earthly
Smell. Always wishing;
With myriad hands
It carries on looking,
Listening to the plops,
Pitters and splatters -
Searching, always.
Children passing by, a
Long row of iridescent
Flowers, hanging low.
Singing in overt unison,
A sweet, unadulterated


White flowers that bloom
folding on itself
white petals sprouting from the blue
whirling along the selkies’ song.

The shimmering and swelling of the shifting current
surging and plunging
and again surge
blowing its soul into the withering desert
I watch it rise above my ankles and retreat back
again and again
with a fresh tenderness
and I will continue to watch it, rolling on.

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