I stretch out on the shore and think of you

Happy summer solstice, dear readers. Here’s a bit of verse from the great Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani (1923-1998) to celebrate the longest day of the year.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse. Photo by me. 

“In the Summer”

In the summer
I stretch out on the shore
And think of you
Had I told the sea
What I felt for you,
It would have left its shores,
Its shells,
Its fish,
And followed me.

(Translated by B. Frangieh and C. Brown)

water becomes lake when bounded

The moody scenes and lyrical ecopoetics woven throughout Sea Summit by Yi Lu (translated from the Chinese by Fiona Sze-Lorrain) will linger with you beyond the page.


“Lake, Again”

water becomes lake when bounded
people don’t care where it comes from    how it comes about
nor about the converging smooth-running    spring in the lake bottom
how its refluxes collide  intertwine
like superimposed vinyl records
that tease out lingering sorrows    the past and present

the world has many lakes
some frozen    some boiling at a volcano’s peak
some saltier than seawater
most fresh and cool, green and pleasing

stillness is self weighing on self
many things controlled unwittingly