poems by George Freek

I look at my past

(after Tu Fu)


I stare at mysteries in the air.

Clouds drift in pairs,

but their life is as brief

as the dead leaves

which blow down the street.

Stars dimly shine,

But they only light

the tops of the pines,

standing like mute stones.

The taste of wine

turns sour in my mouth.

There are things which

can’t ever be understood.

My heart feels dead.

I have many things to regret.

And as I watch

the darkness spread,

they’re not over yet.




Poem 2

(after Li Po)


What good are poems?

They give no comfort

when I’m alone.

They can’t drink with me.

They can’t laugh with me.

They’ll never take away

my fear of death. They only

add to my unrest.

Still, when I’m drunk,

I get ideas, and I must

write them down.

So what’s the use?

My wife is dead.

I sit here alone.

I invite you to join me.

I have plenty of room.




The gods are not merciful

(after Mei Yao Chen)


How may I forget my dead wife?

Life is a flower which blooms,

and dies in its sleep.

I watch the moving moon,

gently dominate the sky,

but where does God reside?

Traffic and people move

along the road. They know

nothing of me, I know nothing

of them. The stars die slowly,

more slowly than the deeds of men.

Drunk, I sink into sleep.

Drunk, I waken to the day.

I have no courage.

When she was young, and I

was young, we slept

in each other’s arms. Now,

I’m older and you are

far away. The light dies.

This poem is all wrong,

but there’s nothing left to say.

poems by George Freek

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