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Kalikiano Kalei

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· If women had udders...!

· Five Up, One Down...

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· Sawtooth Haiku

· Somewhere in my sleep

· The soundless temple bell

· Hearts and minds

· Rabbit gazing at full moon

· Koto-kaze

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  Of Rose, as sunset floods the room at dusk
by Kalikiano Kalei
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Rated "G" by the Author.

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Recent poems by Kalikiano Kalei
•  If women had udders...!
•  Five Up, One Down...
•  More dirty climbing limericks
•  First ascent of Broad Peak!
•  Sainted Mother Teresa
           >> View all 59





Written back in 1979, when I was in the onset of my Asian-phase at UC Berkeley and thought I knew a thing or two about romantic love. Now, of course, I understand love somewhat more broadly, as the hormonal surges drop away to reveal love's essential core. "Rose" was the first real object of my affections, but there were indeed thorns. Sadly, she left me for a law student and they apparently have a good enough life together that lasts to this day. What was it Brando said in 'On the Waterfront"? Oh yes..."I coulda been a contender!" (Perhaps in some other time-space dimension, LoL.)




OF ROSE, AS SUNSET DIES AT DUSK IN DECEMBER


At dusk, the uneaten ducks gather to quack.

It is a cold evening, but without fog.

During such evenings, poets ruminate

and even ordinary mortals feel

the need to reflect

as the sun paints the walls

with dying fingers.

Melancholy officiates,

the agenda filled with disturbing conversations

of suicidal but brilliant friends

who scorn doctoral tributes

to tune Porsches and drink $70 champagne

while contemplating a quick end;

and linguistics scholar friend Zhang

speaking imperfect English with a

thick Fujian accent: his remarkable

interest in the Chinese-American woman

(of great beauty) who stands—-frozen in time

with the Chief of Medicine—fixed with

an eternal and open, simple joy of smile

in the photograph before him.

The shadows deepen

As, across the Bay, Mt. Tamalpais, guardian of Gold Mountain,

welcomes the stars and planets to yet another night-time sky,

Something Basho said

from 17th century collections

surfaces again, to wit "…but if I tell you

who I am, you may not like who I am,

and it is all that I have."

Basho was no fool,

despite the antics he shared with Han Shan.

I cannot hate myself for self-indulgent

reflections of the solar fire

which mirrors on the glass of both the window

of the room

and the crystal of my recalled sensations

with the one who forgets me

all too easily. I am too human,

and the presence of you in my room is still

too strong to erase from memory

the painful hope

of each now-dissipated day

in the progressions

of my life.

The wine warms the chill evening air...

the bamboo and pine (sho, chuku, bai…)

which guard the door, nod in the Eastwind breeze.

It has travelled many thousands of miles

from Canton to stir the island trees

which lie behind the Golden Gate

before it blows so harshly
through my heart....

just as the deadly wind

which swept from the frozen Chinese plateau

must have filled the thoughts

of Yasuo kato,

the first conqueror of Qomolangma Feng in Winter,

as his body became ice at one

with Kobayashi, his fallen companion,

Just below the unforgiving summit.

In Yamayo prefecture

there may be crying at this moment

a woman who once knew Kato

though briefly,

only to forget too soon, that,

the No flute, too,

Is played as if it also,

were forgotten for long stretches.

Aiiya!

Final words drift
across the Rock Band of the Chinese Approach:

In the snow softly drifting, hot cheeks burled: love, for me.

And so it is, as with the scripts that

people write, the walk-on actor

pauses backstage

as the play goes on about him,

the music rising in crescendos like Tsunami,

like Brahms gone berzerk,

a crazed Fohn rushing down the slopes

without divine purpose..

a Joke, if you will,

of Ill-considered import ,

to engulf In avalanche of emotive reconstruction,

the feeble ebb and flow

of mortal groping

in this darkened world.

And still the crimson pale

hangs on above, painting on the walls,

real-time ancestral memories

of 270 BO

and thoughts, expressive of the human condition

which timeless, never die,

but are never new:

The woman I saw, the woman I wanted this way; The woman I saw, the woman I wanted that way, is here at the banquet, sitting before my eyes, sitting at my side.”


It is not so strange, this retrospect, for did not no less a person than e.e.cummings himself say,

...your slightest look easily will enclose me through I have closed myself as fingers, you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens (touching skillfully, mysteriously) her first rose...?

How poignant to hear Zhang wisely

pronounce the fact

of your Chinese heart

and your American behavior,

and my American heart

and my Chinese behavior.

It is truthfully the plotline upon which hangs

a limited option to produce

plays of human derivation

and lasting memories of a sometime liaison

with a woman of iron spirit

in silken raiment

who lingers in the confluence

of mortal rivers,

like the shimmer of golden color

that sweeps men

from the sane realities of normative conduct

to fish forever In the eddies

of romantic fancy.

Of Robert's desire to die in the seat

of his Porsche, clutching his Chateau Moet Chandon Dom Perignon,

fut!” and nothing more, limited as it is

by the myopic producer of his play...my pity, also,

but limited.

The crimson tint of the evening

turns burnt-blood brown

till night lays claim upon all, yet again,

but unresolved,

the shimmering Image of your fragile, yet alloyed

and steely beauty...,.

I foreswear all further thoughts of stoicism,

and will carry

your fragrance upon

each of my evening breezes

free of constraint

and guilt-ridden /recrimination

just as in the

first bloom of Spring

and with

the last Rose of Summer...

 

 

Note: Written in Berkeley, in 1979, and another foolish youthful expression of ardent love, etc., back when I thought I truly understood what ‘love’ was all about. It seems puerile now, but heck. No one cares anymore.

 




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Reviewed by Christine Tsen 1/22/2011
An incredibly crafted personal poetic memoir...with real wisdom and love.
Be well,
Christine
Reviewed by Amor Sabor 1/22/2011
If you wrote that well in 1979...in the description of Rose. Imagine now, if you can, what she looks like now. Excellent work, I must add.

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Kalikiano Kalei



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