this night

the whirling
of a fan
the hiss
of a candle
the beating
of a heart
this world
a corner
a light
in a window
not noticed
a footstep
on gravel
a scent
in the air
even the cat
senses shifting
this night

The Waters of Lung-t’ou by Hsü Ling

The road that I came by mounts eight thousand feet;
The river that I crossed hangs a hundred fathoms.
The brambles so thick that in summer one cannot pass!
The snow so high that in winter one cannot climb!
With branches that interlace Lung Valley is dark:
Against cliffs that tower one’s voice beats and echoes.
I turn my head, and it seems only a dream
That I ever lived in the streets of Hsien-yang.

translated by Arthur Waley

Back by Robert Creeley

Suppose it all turns into, again,
just the common, the expected
people, and places, the distance
only some change and possibly one

or two among them all, gone–
that word again–or simply more
alone than either had been
when you’d first met them. But you

also are not the same,
as if whatever you were were
the memory only, your hair, say,
a style otherwise, eyes now

with glasses, clothes even
a few years can make look
out of place, or where you
live now, the phone, all of it

changed. Do you simply give
them your address? Who?
What’s the face in the mirror then.
Who are you calling.