Friday, February 27, 2009

Two Poem Re-Drafts

A Meditation on Reading the Analects

Ruler's authority, wind-like;
subject's authority, grass-like:
wind blows, grass bends.

Prince as prince,
minister, minister:
that is government.

To remember, not tiring,
to practice, not turning:
that is government.

To accept wise counsel,
to exalt the virtuous:
that is government.

To bless the near,
to lure the far:
that is government.

Never rushing, never niggling,
pardoning with ease:
that is government.

The unturning star
turning all stars:
that is government.

Not governing oneself
is failing to govern:
no government, no government.

Dragon Psalm

Earth shakes, mountains tremble;
they reel at the flaring of wrath,
boiling like water on flame.
Smoke rises from his nostrils,
fire pours from his mouth;
kindling stones like coals pour forth.

Before him speeds devouring fire;
it whirls about him, a mighty tempest.
He touches mountains and they smoke.
Hills and stones melt like wax;
all his foes are consumed.
Drowning fire precedes; it storms around him.
The bed of the sea is uncovered,
the world's foundations are laid bare,
at the Lord's roar, the storm of his breath.

The heavens are shaken, rent,
darkness is under his feet.
He is borne on wings of wind.
The eternal mountains are shattered;
the fragments of hills pave his way.
Before him goes lightning and splendor;
the earth sees and quakes.
He rains down flame and coals of fire,
sends the wicked a scorching wind. Selah.

Mountains that see him quiver;
raging waters cower in fear;
the deep gives forth a groaning voice;
stars stand still in the heavens.
He crushes the head of the wicked;
his arrows of light shoot forth,
his lightning like a glittering spear.

I was drowning in deep waters.
He drew me out and saved me;
he destroyed the demons of the sea.
His wings are wings of morning;
his breath sets the heavens glowing, aflame.
The mountains bow down before him
that they may declare his justice:
the Lord of hosts is his name. Hallelujah.

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