I hear my words in my voice

I hear my words in my voice.
Of course.
But if you then roll them round your tongue,
smooth sour sweet pebbles of thought I have,
are they still mine or are they now yours and yours only?

There lies the man who will not hear his words
repeated by another.
He closes his ears and eyes.
Another’s interpretation must be
of and in itself
a wrong one
and this dissonance will misshape the future.

But I am willing to take a risk.
Words past written are the past
and your voice overtaking is just one of many.
I shall sit and record and listen and wonder
and perhaps never write again.

(When I was) Young [Vietnam]

(When I was) young
clear imagination
(like a) spring stream
(through the)
holy green spring mountain meadows
thoughts (became) words
sparkling like fresh water
cool (on) your tongue

(In the) mid years
work (and) service (and) books
Thought River
swept lazy curves
stories strong
(and) details full
volume (depended on) season

I (am) old
like you (my) reader
(are) you old(?)
River (of) Song
(is) silt
I plumb mud
(with) my fingers
sometimes (a) nugget
(like) this

Hoi An 151117