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Author of this poem:

Robert Rhodes (Yao Xin)
(February 20, 2005)

Li Po in Montana

Li Po in Montana (i)

perhaps the winter
was more than you
bargained for but
these juniper woods and
plains are no different
from your many-flowered mountains
filled with shabby
old taoists ::
here we have
tobacco-twist cowboys
and medicine men :
and a spring moon the color
of glaciers and hills ::
staring at the fading
in april's shadow
don't reach so far to touch it
or you may fall
through obsidian sky
and emerge somewhere beyond
this cold and
nightbound jewel ::
falling : falling :
ghostwheel moon :::

Li Po Li Po

Li Po in Montana (ii)

having walked here
from where your money ran out in Kalispell
you recite your puzzles to the moon
looming pale as summer midnight
over Custer\222s battlefield ::
none see you but some
hidden crows roused
by your familiar voice ::
are you the moon or only
a dream of the moon :: if you
care to know the answer
chant it here tonight
beneath Ursa Minor ::
tell the stars your Confucian
riddle: scented by
a strike of lightning
with smouldering sweetgrass ::

waking next noon
beneath an underpass near Busby
you scratch your calligraphy
on the pilings with a rock ::
you laugh, amused as an owl,
because no one here knows mandarin ::
dream or no-dream
your shadow cannot
linger here another hour ::

these grasses are merely grasses
and this moon is merely the moon :::

Humming Bird

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