Wang ... somehow cobbled together his career as a renowned hermit in whatever free time his office job allowed. – David Hinton
By Dan Gerber
This tiny gentian,
so faithful to the earth in its teardrop
of honey-colored amber, bloomed
and became immortal
thirty-five million years before
anyone thought of God.
And today I read that we exist
because of a cosmic imbalance.
For a reason no one understands, the universe
contains just a little more
matter than antimatter.
Wang sought an image of a world
that fled like darkness from his lamp.
He found himself in the trees,
the grass and leaves, the river,
the fawn come to drink in
the landscape of midsummer.
Verlaine called the universe a flaw
in the purity of nonexistence;
Keats, “the vale of soul-making.”
“I have such pure mornings,”
and Cafavy lamented
that “Night returns to draw us back
with its same fatal pleasure.”
Wang wondered why the spring breeze
blew its scattered blossoms to his door.
Above the mountain, the day’s
first cloud turns from
gray, to mauve, to gold.
He found that springtime
in a pot of wine, which
often brought with it a poem,
often carried it away
before he could write it down.
DAN GERBER will be the featured poet at the 16th Annual Williamsville Poetry, Music, Dance and Art Celebration from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Williamsville East High School Auditorium, 151 Paradise Road in Amherst. A Michigan native who now lives in the mountains of central California, he is the author of three novels and eight collections of poetry, the most recent of which are “A Primer on Parallel Lives” (Copper Canyon Press, 2007) and “Sailing through Cassiopeia” (Copper Canyon Press, 2012). This poem, which references the 8th century Tang Dynasty era Chinese poet Wang Wei, originally appeared in Narrative magazine.