Poetry / October 2017 (Issue 37)

The House of Bamboo

by Adam Radford

An emerald shoot, fit emissary
For time's segmented tales
Its roots found prior to the greenest
Years of great dynasties
Long foresting the length of warring states
Scaffolding the kingdom's surge
Toward the cloud scalloped heavens.

Knuckled like an ancient historian,
A tatty cluster, a paintbrush copse,
Feathering its nervy leaves like a nesting egret:
Screening moon gated yamen, coy locked garden
Reed fringed pond and turtle busied pool.
Eavesdropping on deep filled sleeves
Bashfully bending its weight to the earth.

Shouldered, flexing and corded,
Coneheaded in the mudwork of the terrace flood.
Ladled and fluted, well-dipped and lipped
Slaking thirst of rice and reaper
Gargling at the poured miles of field
Leaning to and steaming in the abundance
Of harvest days. Buns made fat under its lid.

For the Westward sons of polo,
Transfixed by henge and the arch,
Addicts to the oaken crossing of beam and rafter,
To their mast-made obsession for teak-bellied trade,
Your crosshatched shenanigans are too thin for typhoons.
They remain stone-headed and unsteady on your shingles
Too heavy handed, even still, for your beakish cutlery.


Website © Cha: An Asian Literary Journal 2007-2018
ISSN 1999-5032
All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.