by Ash Dean [easy-media med=”8414″ mark=”gallery-DCBfvo”]
We lost the moon in the river again.
This keeps happening.

I paddle against the stream
to steady my craft,

& watch the orb
recede into the murky depths

to lurk with mammoth mud carp:


distorted by silty flow.  Holding below a rip,

on the lapping surface

I discern a dim amorphous glow,

faded blot of backlit shine,
like watching TV through tears.

I can’t cipher a gibbous
(waxing or waning), a half

or quarter though.

How will we tell August

from September?  The monsoons are light these years

& floods

no longer

spill over us.

How will      we know


to return

to our hometowns,

to eat mooncake,

to cover our doors in red,

to sweep the tombs of our ancestors?

How       will we begin our poems?

& learn to be

both changeable & certain

at the same time:

How will we learn to love?

To allow another:

to surface  within our cells

clicking away

within & without

like some frenetic strobe

9 September, 2013 Suzhou, China




It’s been something like five thousand years
since I wrote:

skies gone from blue to grey

to purple.

and gossip:         The gossip that both ruins and
saves lives

Everyone is trying to get in or out:

first one then
the other.

It amounts to not much and a lot at once.

we stopped counting:

though many live and die

according to the total.

I’ve been getting up early

to wander: sometimes dogs or children
will follow.

it’s a thing I can do.

without much time for counting:


doing a thing

is what I’ve settled on.

air can still be breathed,
we drink the water: listen
& dance.

It is always this way;

with a song.

something to take wind

& take away

the wind:

a way

to say

we go

9 September, 2013 Suzhou, China


Pingjiang Road

Moonlight seeps into the hutong
old clothing still hangs out

lovers separate at the canal bridge

early april mosquito buzz
past soft cheek flesh

a man with a cart singing

Lychee Lychee Lychee

Spring a thousand
years long

new fruit tomorrow
then the monsoon

4 April 2012 Suzhou China

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