width=61 height=87> Voracious Verses
Spring / Summer 2009


Christopher Kelen


a temple visit

hear the bowl beating monk
his night chant
fragrant as spring

the sutras are like ice in my hands
the vanishing truth of the world

the body knows the pains of hell
yes poetry is pure, itís bliss
but give me a pension Ė Iím too old for this

© 2009 Christopher Kelen

a bridge in Yuo Lang

moon lights the snow
on mountains beyond

elms and willows sparse of leaves
the tower here lacks footsteps leading

iced bridge of an old dynasty
no one walks in the streets

© 2009 Christopher Kelen

to temper the reverie of the hopeless bucolic

to live in a cave
in a cleft of the mountain
somewhere in the peach blossom realm

to build a pavilion
to keep my own clouds

to blow on bamboo
till the melody comes

high sentiments these
but one notices fleas
digging wells
is hell

© 2009 Christopher Kelen

from Ubud dogs

prince of dogs
top of the stairs
of the abandoned temple
now his palace
lesser dogs
come to pay court
he sniffs them
till the scratch takes
then he is all
behind with his tail
and into the jungle

there a flea holds court
a prince among them
the others bring blood
from the dogís
far reaches
no more
than a map
to them


of course some of them
do want to rob you
trip you
give you let
and give you hindrance
some wonder what you want with them
to some few you are spectacular
to those other nameless peering folk
perhaps youíre to be pitied
to most though you are something like
nothing passing from nowhere
to nowhere
the way a ghost
must go

© 2009 Christopher Kelen

two songs


I will never be a suit
I will wear my ten league boots
I will smoke a big cheroot
I will never be a suit

tune to the view

playing a tune to the view
gazing into the blue
staying attuned to the new
playing a tune to the view

© 2009 Christopher Kelen

About the Poet:

Christopher (Kit) Kelen's most recent volumes of poetry are Dredging the Delta (book of Macao poems and sketches), published in 2007 by Cinnamon Press (UK) and After Meng Jiao: Responses to the Tang Poet, published in 2008 by VAC (Chicago, IL). Kelen has taught Literature and Creative Writing for the last eight years at the University of Macau in south China.






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