Our Interesting Times

A wanderer I
reach this quaint village where I
read master Li Po

who made the most of
violent times. I can not
concentrate on mine.

Sometimes a little
thing—-a fly, a sparrow, a
breeze—-is the last straw.

That I am at all
and that I’m as nothing fuse
to my confusion.

I’m beside myself,
a coin found in the street, both
sides rubbed out smooth, or

out beyond myself
with the fly, the sparrow, the
breeze, though sitting here.

Whereto next, Li Po?
In your time of troubles you
took your dodgy raft

as far as Tung-t’ing
Lake. You died in its depths with
China on your mind.

The poems you left
behind are now taught in schools
by the faint of heart.

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 tom.develyn@comcast.net. 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 http://tdevelyn.com and other sites.

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