PUIs- 20th century poets under the influence


Pacific Rim: Summer Solstice
Gary Gach

The smell of oranges rotting by P’ing Yuen; A dog stands in the middle of Pacific Street At twilight,
nibbling on its tail.

“ ‘Forgotten childhood images get recalled in Spring,’ Because there are seasons,” Lisa
told me this Winter. “I never knew before what Spring is
About,” Maria told me this Spring.

Now all, all that you are & this is, is.
“Not yet,” staring straight ahead the mother
To her three-year-old daughter’s “Is it dark yet?”

Gypsy children sell flowers as a street musician warms up his
Bagpipes. Along the shore of the bay a child turns cartwheels on the sand
In a pastel pink bathing suit. The sun slowly goes down through pine needles.



Meditation on the Wen Fu
Eleanor Wilner

. . .  And, as to the heavenly arrow
of which Lu Chi speaks — it must have struck
straight down, deep into stone, into the heart
of granite.  Strange, then,
what wells up, what pours forth in a flood,
should be both clear and bright
as water, heavy and dark as blood;
that stone be wounded into speech
and that such wounds should heal us.


A Late Spring Day in My Life
Robert Bly

A silence hovers over the earth:
The grass lifts lightly in the heat
Like the ancient wing of a bird.
A horse gazes steadily at me.

After Drinking All Night with a Friend, We Go Out in a Boat at Dawn to See Who Can Write the Best Poem
Robert Bly

These pines, these fall oaks, these rocks,
This water dark and touched by wind—
I am like you, you dark boat,
Drifting over water fed by cool springs.

Beneath the waters, since I was a boy,
I have dreamt of strange and dark treasures,
Not of gold, or strange stones, but the true
Gift, beneath the pale lakes of Minnesota.

This morning also, drifting in the dawn wind,
I sense my hands, and my shoes, and this ink—
Drifting, as all of this body drifts,
Above the clouds of the flesh and the stone.

A few friendships, a few dawns, a few glimpses of grass,
A few oars weathered by the snow and the heat,
So we drift toward shore, over cold waters,
No longer caring if we drift or go straight.

Arthur Sze

Opening the screen door, you find a fat spider
poised at the threshold. When I swat it,

hundreds of tiny crawling spiders burst out.
What space in the mind bursts into waves

of wriggling light? As we round a bend,
a gibbous moon burnishes lava rocks and waves.

A wild boar steps into the road, and around
another bend, a mongoose darts across our headlights.

As spokes to a hub, the very far converges
to the very near. A row of Siberian irises

buds and blooms in the yard behind our bedroom.
A moth flutters against a screen and sets

off a light. I had no idea carded wool spun
into yarn could be dipped and oxidized into bliss.

Once, hunting for chanterelles in a meadow,
I flushed quail out of the brush. Now

you step on an unexpected earthstar, and it
bursts in a cloud of brown spores into June light.

Cid Corman

At day’s end
child asleep
in his arms

he steps light —
her bonnet
on his head.

Cid Corman

rain stops
night knows when
to listen

what falls
glistens now
in the ear

Cid Corman

Tea in the green fields
served by a monk, green
tea, all that he has.

Through the light thatched roof
the sky gets in and
at the edges more.