We share this poem by Li Li, a Shanghai-born poet who now resides in Sweden. The poem was submitted to LILIPOH in conjunction with our Spring 2015 issue which featured homeschooling and Waldorf education on Mainland China. —CK
Morning and evening
swirl around an inkbrush become black characters
with mother’s instruction: “All is contained in this. Diligent practice
Is the route to enduring art!”
rain lashes all the closed windows
and facial make-up behind them
I go journeying with the same kind of ink
I write the same character
heaven and sky, why the same meaning?
clouds laugh without giving answer
sift down flakes as large as goose down
giant inksticks are put on exhibition
All is contained here: name, birthday
I, an inkbrush reincarnated for a thousand years-keep writing
the land exhibit characters written by the land
the sky gazes down upon
quickly it lays out a vast sheet of rice paper. Keep on hard training
Li Li (1961-), Born in Shanghai, now resides in Sweden. He is the author of several books of poetry including Eyes in the Water, Weight of time, Escape, and Retune.
Photo by Jack Zallium. Creative Commons.