Gǔqín

     For Rose

Don't turn away.

Keep your eye on the bandaged place.

That's where the light enters you.

But Rumi does not tell me how I could make friends

With Darknesses that hurt you and stole away

Friends, aunts, brothers, wǒ qīn'ài de.

And how can I turn and face them now with kindness,

And name them opportunity as you did

By act of unfathomable grace?

To honour and name those cracks with love,

Like the body of an ancient qín, whose varnished

Body sits quietly and asks for nothing

 

And resonates the sound of the universe?

Honoured Xíyún, precious Yèyì

Quietly grow around scars of calligraphy,

 

Poetry carved on its back,

Exulting the riches of high mountains and flowing streams.

Domed heaven of wútóng wood,

 

Base earth of catalpa.

And one who touches the silk strings,

Releasing beauty, unifying all

 

To a transient resonance,

Where this pain is the earth's pain - 

Notes floating up to an empty sky.