Today's poem is by Elton Glaser

Drinking Alone on a Spring Day
                                —after Li Po

New grass grows faster than I
Can cut it,
A punk's twist of green hair
Parted by the wind
And blown so strong the dye bleeds out
From lawn to shadow,
But not over me, raising my glass
To a young world,
And seeing, through that sour mash,
Autumns of my own.
White pear, magnolias in the pink,
Pastels of the tulip—
I sing to them all, a lazy tune
Whose words come back
The long way from my mind,
Early Elvis
Asking for love in the first verse:
Treat me like a fool...
And why not? Who isn't a fool
To live past fifty?
Old pine, what can you teach me now?
What song do you sigh
When a breeze from the east
Shakes down
The dead needles in your boughs?
My feet tap out
A dizzy dance step on the flat
Stones of the patio,
The summer chairs already here,
In their laps
The flowers from a fallen drift.
I keep my bottle
Close by, but beyond it
The air's still
Sweet with grief, or else I'm too
Tired to tell
Sorrow from desire, so drunk
I'd like to pour
This whiskey in my open heart,
Beating and beaten,
And feel the bloodrush of heat
Inside these veins,
One more April summoned by the sun,
Before the great
Star chambers of the dark.

Copyright © 2007 Elton Glaser All rights reserved
from Alligator Juniper
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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