i ) ashes
Li Shangyin (813-858) lights his candle.
The night sighs at the chill of moonlight.
Longing flakes across his desk.
The wax dries into ash and the tears are dry.
He writes a scorched-earth policy.
Incense smoke passes through the gold lock.
Torch what you want and can't take with you.
For each inch of longing, an inch of dust.
Burn a nuance in last lines.
Paul Celan (1920-1970) knew how loves-me-not blasts.
Heart wall upon heart wall adds petals to it.
The mistranslation of every action as changing fate.
The stone in the air, which I followed.
He inverted his name before he married.
The word that ascended summer.
Sounds the same in French or German.
We baled the darkness empty.
Tiny perfect florets fill a denuded flowerhead.
Will swing over open ground.
The day he died, mail piled outside the door.
Joachim du Bellay (1552-1560) grows sonnets.
On the field a million finished sheafs are shed.
Fed on the bones of old languages.
Like the sown field abundantly green.
Instead of taxidermy which is against his principles.
The stems bristle their blooming swords.
Deaf poets are like deaf composers.
What is falling after the harvester.
Around stray chips of lovers' voices.
See the gleaner walk step by step.
They hear glass boxes crystallising.