Trina Gaynon

In the Tea House Steam escapes tea cup.Messages no one comprehends. Last year’s plums preserved until my mouth fills,Memories sweetened but not dried with time. Shoulders clinch as I slip the lid back on the tea cup.To sip the fiery oolong requires concentration. Such an amateur! My eyes hidden behind words, clouds were lost to me.My fingers turned pages. My ears lost birdsong. On Reading Classical Chinese Poetry,The Hinton translation For Han Yȕ We attempt to swallow five thousand years of Chinese poetry,Ten thousand poems translated, lyrical even in English. Rivers and mountains flow in through our eyes,Parades of warriors march in through our eyes. We share ten thousand cups of wine with poetsWho have carved their marks on shrine towers. After my first pass through, memory holds reflectionsOf the pond in a bowl, mirror for dragons, mirror to the sky. Within These Walls Mist and willow fade into my sweet dreams.On the painted boat I listen to night rain. – Inscription on Painted Boat, Lan Su Garden Through the wooden screen I watchWind move tendrils of weeping willow.First dragonflies of the season,Single or paired, skitter over the lake.On the other shore, water breaksVisitors, who lean on rails, and buildingFoundations into wind driven ripples. Wind sweeps tendril of willow aside,Reveals top-heavy red roses leaning on the bankOn the other shore where they tower overLily pads, whose flowers smudge shades of pinkAmong leaves that float gray green on the lakeWhere light plays on water and rocks,The lake’s depth carefully concealed. A pale body shoots across my vision.Ghost fish dappled with tangerine scales joinsAnother, clown-suited in orange with black spots.I must lean closer to the screen to watch them.The clown asserts some unspoken messageBy raising a tail out of the water, waving it.The pale companion swims away from shore. Sometimes even in a harmonious marriageOne of you feeds near the shoreWhile the other seeks the shadow underA worn gray boat filled with a few inchesOf water, too small for any fishermanLarger than a porcelain doll,And stranded on rocks imported from China. Trina Gaynon's poems have recently appeared in Apple Valley Review, Mojave River Review, 45th Parallel, and the anthology Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California. Her chapbook The Alphabet of Romance is available at Finishing Line Press. She volunteered with afterschool tutoring, ESL literacy programs, and WriteGirl in California. Relocating to Oregon, she currently leads a group of poetry readers at the local Senior Studies Institute.