Sunday, April 02, 2006


Wu Shan, spring night
Lightening bugzkitting
Between curtains
Into my room
Flutter into my underwear
Into my draws
Warm to the eyes

They settle on the walls
Room aglow with falling stars
They circle round my laptop
Clusters cling to the old dead alarm clock
They enter flowers on my windowsill
Making each a mini lightening lamp

I stand, a young brown haired mon
By the broad Yang Tze
And watch you, little lightening bugs
And wonder if, when next year comes
I'll be here to greet Lucifer once more.

[ a remix of Du Fu 712-770 AD. Born in China, raised Confucian]


Bogus Magus said...

Oh man, what a flash! I only ever saw fireflies (LuciƩrnagas) once - many years ago in Mexico. Went a long journey to see a site way off the tourist routes - got stranded without a penny (peso) for the bus (which only went in the morning anyway), so to keep warm I walked back (60 kilometres) out over the mountains through the night, and suddenly the air filled with flashing lights. Only once I found one walking on the ground, so I could see the silhouette of this delightful beetle. I didn't put him in a matchbox...

Thanks for the memory.

Steve Fly said...

Your welcome Bogus,
i had to use my imagination, an alarm clock and
my laptop to bring these critters into my room.

Bogus Magus said...

As it happens I have a real love for Chinese poetry - mostly through Arthur Waley's translations.

He seemed to have a feel for it, even though he never went to China, just sat in the British Library, with a sick wife at home, and an unrequited love for Alison - only when his wife died did he and Alison get together - for six months until he died!

She wrote a book "A half of two lives" - about the tragedy and strangeness of such a thing - which reminded me how rigid and formal and Confucian the old British system had felt for those who lived under it - but at least the Brits had their 'Taoist' eccentric mystics, too.

Ah, Alan Watts, the voice of them all...

Steve Fly said...

"Ah, Alan Watts, the voice of them all..."

I was reading him only last night, so, i'll quote my favourite slice. Yes Bogus, Alan Watts! The voice of refreshing change:

"The highest positive expression of metaphysical Reality is religious and mythological symbolism, which is interior and spiritual truth projected or extraverted into the forms of phantasy and fact. Prior to any metaphysical knowledge, we have no direct consciousness of interior truth, and can know it only as it is clothed in external forms. - Involution and Evolution, Alan Watts

I see lightening bugs powered by Alan Watts,
Flitting round my room



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