The bamboo stand is thick with solitude, a band
Of stranded scholars banished from their courts,
From all their lovers and their lands. The night is a hut
In the hills, and the bamboo rattles all its sashes,
Thicker than thieves and anxious to be off now
And elsewhere with burlap sacks full of burgled stars.
In the light wind, the grove moans like a groyne
In a king tide; it creaks like a barque in a swell.
By day on furled scrolls, come read the letters
The scholars have scrawled in their pining for girls
They can never hope to see gain. Hear how they
Curse love, longhand, for ending and for ruining,
It would seem, everything, in particular the solace
They had hoped to settle into in old age. Gargantuan
Grasses, flutes hollowed out by longing, they stand,
Damned to sing outmoded love songs long beyond
Their voices and their days. Give up all your grief,
Then, to the bamboo by the shore. Let these exiled
Elders take it and make of it a beatbox choir.
Let them make of it a palisade of prayer.