Archive for March 7th, 2012

Slice of Life Day 7
I have been writing with a small group of students after school once a week. Today I told them about the Slice of Life Challenge and said that one of them would be the guest blogger for today. But they all did a nice job with the exercise, so they will all be featured. We looked at Chinese poets for inspiration. Chinese poets observed nature and contemplated deeper meanings. Each student chose a poet to emulate. This is like an artist copying a master. What occurs is magic. Following the path of a master, the student writes about his own true place and a beautiful poem appears.

Darby’s Fisherman after Oh Yang Hsio
Sitting on the still bayou, watching
the water, observing. Waiting for the right spot
to cast your long silk thread. It appears
and you cast. You wait patiently and silently.
A gentle wind moves your thread
like a silver snake waiting for the right time
to attack. Until an unlucky fish falls
into your trap and is whisked out of the water.
Your prey has been captured.

Isabell’s A Cajun Shack after Tu Fu

A Cajun shack
along the dirty bayou water
near a rusted gate that opens
to a road full of tall grass.

Moss grows over the swamp while
he drags into his gator hunting clothes,
cypress trees sway.

The man comes up while
a gator goes back into the water.

Grace’s Gator Huntin‘ after OU Yang Hsiu

The gator shakes the line
trying to unhook itself.
In the marsh grass
where he lives. He is
invisible as he swim around
in the murky water.
He is shaking so hard he doesn’t see
Troy and Liz come upon him
with a gun ready
to turn him into a pair
of boots.

Patrick’s Nightfall after Tu Fu

Nightfall. I return from a journey
along the Pelican’s Trail. The marshes
are black. Everyone is at home
asleep. The Great Coon descends
to the swamp. Overhead the stars
are huge in the sky. When
I light the lamps, a frightened bird
cries out in the moss. I hear the
white-haired watchman on his round,
calling out the hour. Gun in hand, he
keeps guard and all is safe.

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