Yellow River Sings & Other Poems

by Akpa Arinzechukwu

Yellow River Sings

I am sitting here with Yellow River
Watching the sun go down
I am not expecting a boat or canoe
To paddle me across
I am here with her listening
Not as an emperor but as a subject
While she sings with pride
Voice thundering far from
Kunlun Mountains to the Bohai Sea
Singing songs of civilisation
The deeds of Suiren – Shi
Fu – Hsi and Shennong – Shi

I listen carefully as it unearth histories
Hidden in time gone
I listen as it sings now gently
Reminding me of the present

Winter is come – winter is here
And I am catching a cold
In my belly

 

Identity

I am of waters
I am of rivers
I know what I sing
Did my mother not give birth to me
At the river and
Called me

He-who-was-born-in-river

Did she not kiss me in smiles
Recited the mantra to my hearing
And taught me the ways of Buddha

I am of waters
I am of rivers
I know what I sing
Am I not now seen at the Yellow River
The home of Chinese civilisation
Have I not kissed her on the lips
To know my culture
Am I not here making love to her
To know what it’s like to be somebody
From somewhere

I am of waters
I am of rivers
I know what I sing

 

Homecoming

I am gone
But not for long

I shall to home return
When the trees have worn
Their new clothes
And the rivers frozen

I am gone from home
To go into the wild
To have a dance with the pandas
And a quarrel with the poachers

I am gone
But not for long

I shall to home return
When the land is green
And my virgin bride – the forest
Wears new cloth
To attract my favourite birds
Chirping lovely melodies
While I meditate

I am gone
But not for long
Make peace with Mother Nature
Recite the grail mantra
Save the world
And I shall to home return in new clothes

 

Pilgrimage to the Yellow River

I left home on a journey
Of enlightenment
To go make peace with my mother
I carried along my harp
Singing
A foreigner on pilgrimage

I stopped at the Yellow River
For so I’ve heard – thousand stories
Of its magnificence
Those youthful ancient stories of bravery
Making fire from wood
And pummelling the virgin earth
To bring forth crops

I saw surely its beauty
And I was enchanted
I ran to it in joy
Embraced it
And we made love like lovers
On their first night together

 

Yellow River Sings & Other Poems

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