"Hometown of Lu Xun, 1972"

 By KB Ballentine


Plum blossoms and orchids pink the bank,

stream humming under willows in gray-blue calm.

Houses full and bright pulse under afternoon sun,

mountains slumber on the eastern horizon.

Swallows scoop the air above sleepy peacocks,

teal and copper tails tucked low.


I could wait here, you a wisp of thought

curled under greening cedar.

Winter’s cave shallows, shrinks from purple clover,

arpeggios of bluebirds and finches threading chill air.

Fires in the north — smoke smudges, pools —

shadow of crow inking the edges.


Just beyond my view,

a white dragon skims the surface,

  no — a crane balances near lotus,

and everything waits,

         holding its breath.

KB Ballentine has an M.A. in Writing and a M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Poetry. Her latest collection, The Perfume of Leaving, was awarded the 2016 Blue Light Press Book Award.