Canto XXXVIII (after Buson & Issa)
—for Mai Wagner
Memory's green inch—sunlight's white snow bright on August pine needle. Memory's green inch—half-moon in morning sky, the pine tree on the near hill,its tip taller than the tip of the distant mountain— by a green inch. Memory's sky blue through branches of the pine, the ocean smells of resin when windblows the ocean through the pines. Or no, I'm wrong, it is not snow, it is the morning dew in afternoon light, so bright of the August sun—memory'sgreen wish. The man writing poems points the way with a poem. The man who asked the way has disappeared. The deer bounding away stops to see what scared it. Some sound. Spareno arrows, sparrows— sing. I want a wound. All my life written down with a pine needle— memory's green inch: I've never been closerto that sound than across a river.
Copyright © 2021 by Dan Beachy-Quick.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Dan Beachy-Quick is a poet, essayist, and translator. His most recent books include Arrows (Tupelo Press) and Stone-Garland (Milkweed Editions), a collection of translations from the ancient Greek. Recently long-listed for the National Book Award in Poetry, his work has been supported by the Monfort, Lannan, and Guggenheim Foundations. He teaches at Colorado State University, where he is a University Distinguished Teaching Scholar.
Copper Nickel—the national literary journal housed at the University of Colorado Denver—was founded by poet Jake Adam York in 2002. When York died in 2012, the journal went on hiatus until its re-launch in 2014.
Work published in Copper Nickel has appeared in the Best American Poetry, Best American Short Stories, and Pushcart Prize anthologies, and contributors to Copper Nickel have received numerous honors for their work.