The Rest of My Mind | Yenyenning Lakes Evensong 1949 | China Dream


Glen Phillips



Once           porcelain          I cleaned       the

I                  or just a           off the            rest

Found         porridge          dirt              of my

A blue         plate               and               mind.

& white        I’ll                   kept

shard          never              it in                 glen

in a              know               my shirt         phillips

country        but while          pocket          March

backyard.    wondering          for              2013



This opalescent-streaked horizon
is what you saw across
a bushlake where you had swum.
It was sweetwater, unaccustomed,
and treading water here you awaited
the hushed rush of wild ducks landing

unheeding of the waiting shooters’ guns.
But still it is not yet time. Eventide’s
reddened bandage scarcely wraps

this lowland of lakes and woodlands
and the skies in darkening mauve.


phillips4CHINA DREAM
(or, Thinking Ahead to Qingming Jie)

Last night I had a dream,
walking on cobbled streets
searching for any small shop
where I could buy new clothes,
just a simple shirt for my back,
and a pair of new shoes too.

No matter how hard I tried
no such humble purveyor
came to view. No street market
with pleading vendors saved me
in my hour of need. For my wish
was to be simply happy, the joy
of heart that comes when no debt
is owed to anyone. For if love
is won only under shadow
even of gratitude that must be repaid,
like a bride’s dowry given
in exchange, then that love will be soured
in time, like the sad empty streets
I scoured uselessly in my dream.

Last night I had a dream
but when I awoke, I could
hardly believe I had seen those
narrow streets, the ancient houses
in that distant town, in that
dream country so far away.

Yet foolish I felt, for I was still unclothed,
I still lacked a decent pair of shoes
and I felt alone, as if family
and friends had left me there.
I was home but I had no home.