Spring Dawn – a poem by Ken Turner

Spring Dawn
 after Meng Haoran

Spring dawn, submerged in sleep.
After the shivered night
slowly resurface to warble and chirp.
A chisel scrapes the air, then a spate
of notes in a drowsy cooed lament,
arpeggios of birdsong belling
the room after last night’s ferment:
sudden squalls and rain-shelling,
drills on the roof, branches popping
under the gale—an unsettled zone
arising and passing. The way they will.
Tried to note each rain-bead dropping,
then let it go. Petals must have blown
to earth (how many?), now scattered and still.

Ken Turner has lived and taught in Asia, Africa, and Latin America as well as the US. His work has appeared in Southern Poetry Review, Atlanta Review, Silk Road, Summerset Review, Asian Cha, and elsewhere, including in several anthologies, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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