“A Little Girl Alongside a Road” is a poem about an experience that I had in China in 1994 (correct date), near Dunhuang, Gansu, relatively close to Xinziang, where perhaps as many as 1.8 million Muslim Uighurs have now been thrown into concentration camps by China and subjected to horrifying abuse and slave labor. We human beings on this planet must honor and protect their dignity and humanity.
Special thanks to ML Lieblier, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, for hosting and inviting me to participate in his recent poetry reading benefit on Zoom for Book Beat bookshop on Sunday, December 6, 2020. Book Beat, Oak Park, Michigan, has a couple of my books available The Parliament of Poets and The Myth of the Enlightenment.
Book VI of The Parliament of Poets: An Epic Poem, now available:
BOOK VI, THE ARGUMENT:
“After an arduous journey from Bagan, Burma, up over Lhasa, Tibet to Dunhuang, China, Sun Wukong, the Persona’s able guide, having traveled a different route with Xuanzang, sets down before the Mogao Caves. From there, Sun Wukong takes the Persona to Chang-an, where Du Fu leads him up the many stairs of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Bai Juyi lifts him up to Mt. Tai and the Azure Clouds, imbibing the beverage of the Three Vinegar Drinkers, savoring its harmonizing nature. Heading east, into the rising sun, past the Kingdom of Silla, ancient name of Korea, to the mountains of Lake Biwa, where Basho and Saigyo rested from their long journeys. Like much of Japan, the view of the lake has changed since Basho was interred at the Temple of Gichu-ji on its southern shore. Basho teaches the Persona the oneness of his vision, a Vinegar Drinker in his own way. Saigyo lifts the Persona back to his great metaphor, the moon.”
“In pre-dawn darkness I awoke, realizing
where I was, slipping away under the grove
to the riverside, leaving Sun Wukong
who seemed asleep in a tree above me…”
It was an arduous, overwhemling journey from Bagan, Burma, up over Lhasa, Tibet to Dunhuang. Sun Wukong was my able guide, having traveled the way, though a different route. He led the Persona into the Mogao Caves, his guiding presence understood a fellow seeker. From there, he took the Persona to Chang-an, where Du Fu led him up the many stairs of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, taught him a sweeping view of China, coming down from that tower, a different man. In the courtyard, Bai Juyi lifted him up to Mt. Tai and the Azure Clouds. I imbibed the beverage of the Three Vinegar Drinkers, savored its harmonizing nature.
Not yet back to the moon, but closer, heading east, into the rising sun.
Apollo calls all the poets of the nations, ancient and modern, East and West, to assemble on the moon to consult on the meaning of modern life. The Parliament of Poets sends the main character, the Poet of the Moon, on a Journey to the seven continents to learn from all of the spiritual and […]