A Forest of Names (February) by Ian Boyden

FEBRUARY 1

明靜
Motionless Clarity

There, where moonlight spills
across a handful of ash.

 

FEBRUARY 2


Clearing Sky

He stood on his head,
and to his astonishment
watched the clouds ripening
like fields of grain.

 

FEBRUARY 8

小森
Small Forest

Once finished with the trunk,
the brush dances side to side.

An infinity of black
from the heart
of a burning pine.

 

FEBRUARY 9

恆光
Fixed Radiance

A carving of light,
a hewn moon,
a heart suspended
between two shores.

 

FEBRUARY 10

苗苗
Sprout Sprout

And from the same quarry
that lined the mausoleum of a tyrant,
the blocks of marble were carved
into a field of white grass.

 

FEBRUARY 11

林萌
Forest’s Beginning

Once lost to centuries of ice,
the seeds split stones and called out

toward the sun and moon,
and so laced a tapestry
of impenetrable shadow.

 

FEBRUARY 12

沚君
Sandbar Lord

The edges of his heart,
written by the footprints of plovers,
anchored by love,
washed by rain.

 

FEBRUARY 14

婧涵
Modest Implication

Ink spilled from where she split the world in two,
wrote its fluid song whispering
of days filled with love.

 

FEBRUARY 15


Unopened Flower

Your whole life unfolds in the silence after lightning’s flash.
What sprouts from the thunder?

 

FEBRUARY 18

書晟
Book of Solar Luminosity

Once bound, the book
could never be held,
could never be read,

what it offered
was the light
of its own transformation.

 

FEBRUARY 20

代言
On Behalf of Words

No matter how carefully they held the calipers,
the birds always escaped their names.
But the child,
the child slowly grew into his.

Until one day,
he held calipers to his own heart,
only to have it become a bird,

and it sang:
no words,
no words.

 

FEBRUARY 23

瀚墨
Vast Ink

At sunrise,
the white feather fell
from an empty sky.

Now blackened
with a century of burning,
it erases the stars.

 

FEBRUARY 24


Outstanding

Every time his name was uttered,
a tree burst into flame.

 

FEBRUARY 25

文淵
Literary Abyss

Words bubble forth from the deep.
Which ones change our hearts?
Which ones collapse a building?

 

FEBRUARY 28

紫蘭
Purple Orchid

The path blocked
by a curtain of flowers,
each flower a closed door
twined shut
in the figure eight of infinity.

 

FEBRUARY 29

城霖
City of Endless Rain

Earth becoming
walls, stone by brick,
to shelter us from forests of rain,
and centuries of forests devour the city,
its walls, leaf by root,
becoming earth.