Charles Wright

Portrait of the Artist by Li Shang-Yin

My portrait is almost finished now
                            in the Book of White Hair.
Sunset over the Blue Ridge.
Puce floating cloud.
                  A minute of splendor is a minute of ash.

Landscape with Missing Overtones

The sun has set behind the Blue Ridge,
And evening with its blotting paper
                             lifts off the light.
Shadowy yards. Moon through the white pines.

Little Apokatastasis

South of the stunned Rivanna, shadowless winter afternoon,
Light halfway on, clouds low-slung with rain-to-come
                                   stretched on the sky.

Window-watching, tangled branches across the lost highway, I
Suddenly see hundreds of headlights,
                             everyone coming home.

In Praise of Han Shan

Cold Mountain and Cold Mountain became the same thing in the mind,
The first last seen
               slipping into a crevice in the second.
Only the poems remained,
                      scrawled on the rocks and trees,
Nothing’s undoing among the self-stung unfolding of things.