Stopping at the Incense Storing Temple

A shooting star doesn’t plan its trajectory

anymore than us through infinity’s fathomless maw.

I’ll walk a while in the desert, feel the horizon escaping me

and absorb honestly the resounding gong of my humility

as sand cries small streams into the holes left by my heels.

At night, under the cooling gaze of a platter moon

the darkness refreshes me, pooling like water, promising weightlessness.

And yet I will sink too, my ego absorbed by fabulous nothingness

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Written after Wang Wei’s “Stopping at the Incense Storing Temple”

I did not know the incense storing temple,
I walked a few miles into the clouded peaks.
No man on the path between the ancient trees,
A bell rang somewhere deep among the hills.
A spring sounded choked, running down steep rocks,
The green pines chilled the sunlight’s coloured rays.
Come dusk, at the bend of a deserted pool,
Through meditation I controlled passion’s dragon.

Written for Laura Bloomsbury's dVerse prompt - China - Kingdom of the Poem

We were asked to: 

The Poetics’ Challenge here is: Select any ONE of the above poems and with as many re-reads as you need, imagine what the poet has painted, what impressions are conveyed. Then:-

    reinterpret the poem in your own style

OR for those of you who prefer a classical form then:-

2. re-interpret the poem in the Chinese LUSHI style

    eight lines long of couplets – The first couplet should set-up the poem; the middle two couplets develop the theme, the final couple is conclusion
    each line must have the same number of words, either 5,6, or 7.
    a mono-rhyme is on every even numbered line
    Caesura (a pause) should separate clauses.

Whichever style you choose you should:-

    use the same title
    not re-use more than a very few (if any) of the poet’s words
    cite the poet at the end of your post. [Alternatively parallel the original with your own poem- by using a 2 column layout]

27 thoughts on “Stopping at the Incense Storing Temple

  1. Blown away by the rich imagining of the scenes described, down to the last detail, particularly this: “as sand cries small streams into the holes left by my heels.” THAT is pure gold. And how can one not be humbled under the “cooling gaze of the platter moon”! Brilliant word-smithing.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I read all of the poems several times before choosing another one. The last line of this one’s felt too challenging to try. I commend you and your interpretation and how you “controlled passion’s dragon.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Worms, the quality of your poetry makes kind comments from you so much more precious.

    The line about the heels was just – unreal. Just – wow.

    as sand cries small streams into the holes left by my heels.


    David

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the themes of direction (or lack of it) and exploration of self in this poem, especially in ‘feel the horizon escaping me / and absorb honestly the resounding gong of my humility’ and ‘yet I will sink too, my ego absorbed by fabulous nothingness’.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. a lovely meditative poem. I like the notion of the desert, the little ‘streams’ that fill the footsteps (such a very visual image) and then the full on contrast with
    “the darkness refreshes me, pooling like water,”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes. The desert is fabulous for its sheer vastness and its emptiness allows the sky to be vast too. In all that, a human is minute, inconsequential. But it didn’t feel bad to me. It felt wonderful.

      Like

  6. “A shooting star doesn’t plan its trajectory anymore than us through infinity’s fathomless maw,” such a fantastic opening line to this gem of a poem! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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