Lost in Translation

Planting Zone: guidelines for poem-culture enthusiasts –

Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water
into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash.
Be water, my friend.
– Bruce Lee

In our sped-up, technology-driven society, it can be difficult to slow down, take some time off from connectivity, and be still enough to engage in contemplative reflection or any kind of meditative practice. Well worth the investment of time, thoughts arise in the quieted mind in the form of images. I find it a good poetic exercise to translate these mental pictures into words:


Cirrus strafes the snow-capped peak:
feather-breath ribbons
early spring, conceiving
snow-melt streams
down through the conifers
rimming a looking-glass lake.

At the shoreline, peering
its reflection – a pentimento:
when I am still,
I see the mountain in me.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Louise A. Muise on August 29, 2011 at 8:52 am

    I am reading a non-fiction work by poet Molly Peacock. called “Paper Images”. In desceibing collages of flowers done by an artist two centuries ago, Peacock pays a lot of attention to artistic process, both of the poet and the visual artist. She comments a lot on the balance of “busy-ness” and quiet; company and contemplation needed to do any craft.


  2. Posted by clintlc on August 28, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Bruce Lee! Always so much more than flying kicks, though he was those, too.


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