Dissolving Borders

Long ago in China a poet dreamed of a river
made from notes the birds pour forth
He longed to drink from it
but each time he put out his hands
they turned into a boat let loose on water
or an old bridge laced with lanterns

The poet wept
His cries woke the villagers, though he still slept
What kind of cry is that, ruining
the night
they asked
After a while they pressed their hands to their ears

In the morning the poet woke singing of love
as a river that will carry us to death
His song so displeased the emperor
he ordered the poet's exile

That evening the villagers gathered on the bridge
and watched the poet pole downriver
on a boat so small many swore
they were dreaming, though they could feel
the wind at their trousers, the wide planks
the dead had laid with their hands


Poems by Lynne Knight:

Her Story
The Story
Not Even They Could Stop It, and They Were Myth
Boundless Kingdom
Bedtime Story
Lost Sestina
Meditation Interrupted by Bats
Bed and Bone
O, Penelope!
None of Us at Prayer

Dissolving Borders

TIMES TEN: An Anthology of Northern California Poets