The First Myth

These lines are tightened
and tuned in the fertile void
before I cast them.

To enter this non-
space and pick my instrument,
I wait in the dark.

Wherever I am,
I wait; dark is just a way
of describing it.

Only a sign ends
what seems forever. I hear
overtones that set

my lines atremble.
Forgive the archaic note,
traveler of Ch’u.

for “traveler of Ch’u” see Ch’ien Ch’i in Hammill & Seaton, The Poetry of Zen, 56.

Author: Tom D'Evelyn

Tom D'Evelyn is a private editor and writing tutor in Cranston RI and, thanks to the web, across the US and in the UK. He can be reached at D'Evelyn has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before retiring he held positions at The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University and Brown University. He ran a literary agency for ten years, publishing books by Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, among others. Before moving to Portland OR he was managing editor at Single Island Press, Portsmouth NH. He blogs at and other sites.

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