myth rural china 1961

Kenneth Kesner left school after reading in European classics and philosophy then sought a career teaching in East Asia, where he began to study martial arts and write poems. Some recent work is included or forthcoming in Children of Orpheus (Subterranean Blue Poetry), The Ibis Head ReviewThe OpiateOtis Nebula and Tule Review.

myth rural china 1961

a field where women are planting
indifferent to the clouds
they cover their bodies
a place that gathers them in
a dawn long enough to be painted
in silver outline against sunset
and pausing to listen
the breezes of mid summer
die then they can hear
a boat worn by the slow canal
that holds their nets
before dusk lets them go
but there’s no water none at all
it returns in typhoon just as empty
as workers looking for work
trailing each other nowhere
behind evening and factories
yellow fall is here for a while
to thresh the women close to the ground
dull their sickles on themselves
nearly standing up at night
they’ll have warm tea and cigarettes
outlast winter


[image: Rice Terrace Sunset | Shawn Talbot]

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