I went in search of paw paws
down a trail in a park
where there was said to be a grove.

I found the trees, but it was too late
in the season. There was no fruit.
So, I sat on some rocks next to the river

and read from a book of Chinese poetry,
the sound of water over granite ledges,
competing with traffic on the interstate

only a half-a-mile away. The afternoon sun
shone through the yellow leaves
of beeches and sycamores.

And I thought of nothing,
but the cool autumn air,
and the sweet taste of paw paws.


3 thoughts on “IN SEARCH OF PAW PAWS

    1. Thanks. It came to me kind of quickly while I was sitting next to the Middle Patuxent River after searching for the paw paw grove. I had been reading “100 Tang Poems” (compiled and translated by Zhang Tingchen and Bruce Wilson). It was one of those Zen sort of moments when there really was nothing else to do or think about but sitting next to a river, in the sun, reading poetry. I have read virtually nothing but Chinese poetry this month (the 8th century Tang poets, like Li Po, Tu Fu, and Wang Wei, are my favorites), which has influenced much of what I’ve written this month.

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