Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Doug Anderson: Anonymous from the Han Dynasty

I have been your scribe now almost fifty years
and soon I’ll be replaced by a younger man

and you’ll let me live out my old age
in a cottage in the hills as you did old Lin.

I have finished your inventory of the armory
set it down and sent it to you although

you cannot read. You have a concubine who can
and she’ll read it to you and you’ll be comforted.

I lied, you do not have that many spears,
but it won’t matter. There is no one now

to contest your power. Therefore I’ll meditate.
What a relief to sit by the waterfall 

and let my mind go like this, each thought
a bubble rising from the bottom of a pond

where I imagine the bright leaves floating above,
like everyone who knows that death is near.

Copyright 2020 Doug Anderson

Photograph by Doug Anderson

2 comments on “Doug Anderson: Anonymous from the Han Dynasty

  1. loranneke
    November 19, 2020

    I lied, you do not have that many spears,
    but it won’t matter. There is no one now

    to contest your power. — This reminds me of another man that is lied to….

    Like

  2. Barbara Huntington
    November 19, 2020

    Another poet I have learned about through Vox Populi, and I am grateful. This was the perfect poem to wake up to. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on November 19, 2020 by in Environmentalism, Health and Nutrition, Poetry, War and Peace and tagged , , , .

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