on being home: for Ali

Ali callserguvan
I see erguvan
our special flower
only here
in Istanbul
suddenly now
I am home
we are home
it is so beautiful
and I tell Burhan
your uncle is home
he smiles
as we drive
from apartment
to apartment
until I too see
and I too
am home

Han Shan tells why he came to Cold Mountain

Thirty years ago I was born into the world.
A thousand, ten thousand miles I’ve roamed.
By rivers where the green grass lies thick,
Beyond the border where the red sands fly.
I brewed potions in a vain search for life everlasting,
I read books, I sang songs of history,
And today I’ve come home to Cold Mountain
To pillow my head on the stream and wash my ears.

translated by Burton Watson

the long way home

seems to be
the only way
some know
of seeking shelter
one can call
those detours
on sidestreets
causing delays
all adding to
the character of
the one who finally

On Returning to Sung Mountain by Wang Wei

The clear stream girdles the long copse,
Carriage horses amble with ease, with ease.
Flowing water seems to be purposeful.
Evening birds in pairs return.
Barren city walls overlook the cold ford,
Fading sunlight fills the autumn mountains.
Far and distant–below Sung’s height;
I’ve come home, and close the gate.

translated by Paul Kroll

Later (6) by Robert Creeley

If you saw
dog pass, in car–

looking out, possibly
indifferently, at you–

would you–could you–
shout, “Hey, Spot!

It’s me!” After all
these years,

no dog’s coming home
again. Its skin’s

through rain, dirt,

to dust, hair alone
survives, matted tangle.

Your own, changed,
your hair, greyed,

your voice not the one
used to call him home.

“Hey Spot!” The world’s
greatest dog’s got

lost in the world,
got lost long ago.