poems by George Freek

I look at my life (After Su Tung Po)


Through a night vaster

than the sea, I walk under trees

hung with sagging leaves.

The day disappears,

as music disappears,

but still echoing in the mind.

I’m reaching for something,

I will never find.

Wind rustles the leaves

as lightly as a feather,

then blows off like a dream.

When they pass by,

clouds look at nothing,

like men who can

no longer ask why.

The moon, once so bright,

is a dim light

in a razor sharp sky.

I think my life has been a lie.




After the fall (After Mei Yao Chen)


I stare at the dying flowers in my garden.

They lie like dessicated corpses

with discolored heads.

If my wife were here, she’d revive them,

but she’s also dead.

Is there a heaven for dead flowers?

I think not. But I don’t know a lot.

Night holds me in her arms.

as if I were an unknown child,

abandoned in a desolate spot.

I feel a sense of loss in my bowels.

Stars crawl across the sky like bugs,

who wander blindly

over that vast rug.

I think life will never be how it was,

but I think the way it was

was only in my mind.

And I that was unfair,

and it was terribly unkind.




Emptiness (After Tu Fu)


For a year my wife’s been dead.

I finish my sixth glass of wine,

and stare at my unmade bed.

Outside, a chilling breeze

rustles the dead leaves.

The moon is a ball of lead.

I gaze at the distant stars.

Lost in an infinite sky,

they too have nowhere to abide.

A tattered shirt hanging from

A tree, waves in the breeze.

I feel the approaching cold.

I watch traffic pass me by.

Suddenly, I know

what it means to grow old.




poems by George Freek

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