following Li Po’s lead: to those left behind: on this Easter Sunday in Istanbul, 2019

you are all there
in dreams
our youth on display
strength resting still
in these arms
weaker with age
there is music
Mom dancing in apron
as she sings off-key
to Al Martino
my brothers my sister
nieces and nephews
that long extended table
Charlie Aunt Mary
Grandma’s raviolis
filling the plates
seconds thirds
the turkey the broccoli
sausage and peppers
coffee and cake
platters of fruit
peanut shells and walnuts
George playing The Four Seasons
Johnny teasing Robert
Robert sighs dramatically
into his glass of wine
and I laugh
oh I laugh
waking with tears
in my eyes
Easter Sunday
in Istanbul
so very far
so very long
away

“A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward… “

from Douglas Moore’s Art of Quotation

Art of Quotation

“A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends.”

Henry A. Wallace, US Vice President


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from Substance, Shadow, and Space by T’ao Yüan-ming

Old and young alike die a single death,
wise and foolish are not allotted different fates.
Your daily wine may help  you to forget,
but I fear it’s a pasttime that shortens your years.
Doing good, you say, will be your joy?
And who do you think will praise you?
Too much pondering may injure one’s life;
better leave everything to fate.
Go along with the waves in the great process of change,
take no delight in it, have no fear.
When it’s time to fade away, then fade away—
why should you alone be so full of care?

translated by Burton Watson