Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Admirable Tranquility

it is no secret
that the Jiajing Emperor in his final days
came to realize the ironic beauty
of Yang Shen's poetry
and that the sad beast of desire is truly everywhere
within and without
and that in his own life
desire's destiny had led him to become
the opposite of his own Imperial name
Admirable Tranquility had become
Dishonorable Unquiet

Yang Shen wrote
poisoned vapors cling to our grieving footsteps
the high peaks are full of mists and fevers

poetry alas
contains many versions of desire
and the beauty of jade
is often
the character of its flaws

the knot that gives life
may also take it