Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Ian Boyden: Study The Axe Handle

學柯

for Sam Hamill

To study the axe handle
is to study the forest,
how trees stand,
and how trees fall,
and how to cause their falling,
and what it sounds like
when one falls into one’s own shadow
by another’s hand.

To study the axe handle
is to study Lu Ji,
third century poet and author of the Wen Fu,
who was wrongfully executed for high treason,
and who once wrote:
Things move into the shadows and vanish.
Memory returns in an echo.

Moment by moment.
Axe cut by axe cut.
Telling truth by truth
as the foundation of one’s art,
even if it is also the foundation
of one’s own wrongful execution.

The seedling just sprouting
has already fallen as a giant tree,
one limb is already the handle
of another limb’s demise.

It has fallen at the edge of a name
of a child who has fallen,
who is moving into shadows
filled with echoes
and the memory of vanishing,

Everything can lead to everything
but it doesn’t.
Each leads to each singularity
in all of its impermanence.


 

Copyright 2018 Ian Boyden

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This entry was posted on April 18, 2018 by in Environmentalism, Opinion Leaders, Poetry and tagged , , , .

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