Buff Whitman-Bradley

Front Porch for Sonja Margulies -- March 9, 1931 – April 27, 2013* Sitting on my front porchWatching small white butterfliesCaper in the valerianI am thinking of youSitting on your new front porchWith your lifelong literary companionSu Tung-P’oThe two of you gossipingAbout the peccadilloes of the court poetsAnd the ridiculous new fashions in the capitalYou light each other’s cigarettesFill each other’s cups first with strong teaThen with spring wineA white heron passing overheadTurns your conversationTo the topic of artistic beautyAnd the natural worldCan a poem ever be as exquisiteAs a blade of grassOr a spider’s web?You agree and disagree for hours(Do hours exist on your new front porch?)For the pure pleasure ofKeeping each other companyA pleasure no longer availableTo those of us who were your friendsHere in the ephemeral worldOn the phone a few days before you diedYou saidDon’t forget meAnd I assured you that I never willAnd do the dead also remember?Do you grieve?What would you like us to know?Perhaps you and Su Tung-P’o Can exchange views on these mattersAs pink and white petals of crabapple blossomsDrift through eveningOn moonlight’s pale tideAnd you pour yourselves a little moreOf that heady new wine * Sonja Margulies was a transmitted teacher in the Zen Buddhist lineage of Kobun Chino Otogawa., Roshi. From girlhood, she loved the poetry of Sung Dynasty poet Su Tung-P’o. Her book of poems, Local News, was published shortly before she died. It is available from Amazon. Buff Whitman-Bradley is the author of four books of poetry – b. eagle, poet, The Honey Philosophies, Realpolitik: Poems of Protest, Outrage and Resistance, and When Compasses Grow Old, and a chapbook, Everything Wakes Up! His poems have appeared in many print and online journals. He is also co-editor, with Cynthia Whitman-Bradley and Sarah Lazare, of the book About Face: Military Resisters Turn Against War. He lives in northern California.