Liu’s Poetic Views

  1. The Taking Of A Flower

Oh many were the days that I strode through the meadow,

And smelled the sweetest rose.

And many more were the days that I reached out to pluck it,

And yet, as I did so, froze.

 

For time and again, the thought crossed my mind,

“What if?”

“What if I should bleed?”

“What then would befall me?”

“Who then would console me?”

“Who’d tell me the things that I’d need?”

 

So day after day, I walked through that meadow,

Walked past that beautiful rose.

Walked past that picture of great natural wonder,

Walked past, because that’s what I chose.

 

Till one day,

At last,

I could take it no longer,

And said,

“Enough!”

“I’m through!”

 

I went out to that flower,

It took me less than an hour,

And I plucked it without any queues.

 

And as I drew that blossom from its earthen bed,

I felt a prick in my thumb,

I looked down without command,

Saw blood on my hand,

And the sight of it turned me numb.

 

It wasn’t the pain of the prick that bothered me,

I barely noticed that.

It was the knowledge that this blossom,

This thing that I held,

Had been brought to where it couldn’t go back.

 

Never again would it sit in the meadow,

Never again would it grow.

Never again would I pass it and think,

“My, my,”

“That’s the sweetest rose.”

 

  1. Clockwork 

As I lay inside my bed,

And strolled down streets within my head,

And wandered off to parts unknown,

To places where no beast had flown,

 

I came across a set of stairs,

Which wound their way down through the misty air,

Until they reached a massive clock,

Whose polished face I felt an urge to knock.

 

And so I set off, down these simple stairs,

Down through the freezing, foggy air,

Down towards those giant, turning hands,

Down towards the constant, timeless land

 

As I walked, I spied many queer things,

Like fish wearing armor, and eyes with wings,

Or granite maidens bearing crosses of fire,

And colorful fabrics woven from desire.

 

But stranger still were the things that I felt,

Like my skin turning soft, and starting to melt,

Or my hairline receding, and turning grey,

My vigor dissolving, fading away.

 

  1. To His Parents 

Oh Father! Dear Father.

What a woe-filled song you’ve sung.

But now you’re banner’s flying high.

The war you’ve fought is won.

 

Your prize is near!

Your crowds are here!

Your people all exulting!

 

What say you then?

You son of men?

Deny you them their calling?

 

Oh Mother! Dear Mother.

For strength I’ve looked to you.

On stormy days you cleared the skies.

You made them bright and blue.

 

You sang the night!

You gave me flight!

Through dreams which clouds did cover!

 

What say you now?

You sullen sow?

Hate you still my lover?

 

I know you will not answer.

I know what’s in your head.

I know that you don’t want to think,

I’ve fallen, cold and dead.

 

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