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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.
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.