Variation on Two Lines of Han Shan | by John Repp

Variation on Two Lines of Han Shan

         thirty years from now / she’ll look like chewed sugarcane
                                                             —trans. Red Pine

She unknots the robe & lets it fall

          The sun has darkened her

                    She steps to the pallet

arranges pillow & sheet

          dawn beneath the horizon

                    sultry light in the room

as the seasons wheel

         A single word swallowed   spit   sung

                    dandled on the tongue

a gurgle  a cough

          a letter tucked in a book

                    the salt of  him   long fingers   mouth

A grandchild tiptoes in

A native of the Pine Barrens region of southern New Jersey, John Repp has lived for many years in Erie, PA. His latest collection of poetry is The Soul of Rock & Roll: Poems Acoustic, Electric & Remixed, 1980-2020, just published by Broadstone Books.