763. Outside the City, by Tu Fu

It is bitter cold, and late, and falling
Dew muffles my gaze into bottomless skies.
Smoke trails out over distant salt mines
Where snow-covered peaks cast shadows east.

Armies haunt my homeland still. And war
Drums throb in this distant place. A guest
Overnight in a river city, together with
Shrieking crows, my old friends, I return.

(trans David Hinton)

Source: The Selected Poems of Tu Fu

764. Davey Brown Camp, by Edgar Bowers

Camping, around the fire at night, we sing
Songs our mothers taught us or songs we sang
At summer camp, in church, or in the army;
Then, from our sleeping bags, we name the stars.
All afternoon, quietly among the pines
That open their cones only in fire, we followed
The soar of condors down the loop of time.
Breakfast over, we climb the wilderness,
Hoping to see a lion on the fire road,
And it see us before it slips away.

Source: Collected Poems

765. Gravestones, by Vernon Watkins

Look down. The dead have life.
Their dreadful night accompanies our Springs.
Touch the next leaf:
Such darkness lives there, where a last grief sings.

Light blinds the whirling graves.
Lost under rainwet earth the letters run.
A finger grieves,
Touching worn names, bearing daughter and son.

Here the quick life was borne,
A fountain quenched, fountains with sufferings crowned.
Creeds of the bone
Summoned from darkness what no Sibyl found.

Truly the meek are blest
Past proud men's trumpets, for they stilled their fame
Till this late blast
Gave them their muted, and their truest name.

Sunk are the stones, green-dewed,
Blunted with age, touched by cool, listening grass.
Vainly these died,
Did not miraculous silence come to pass.

Yet they have lovers' ends,
Lose to hold fast, as violets root in frost.
With stronger hands
I see them rise through all that they have lost.

I take a sunflower down,
With light's first faith persuaded and entwined.
Break, buried dawn,
For the dead live, and I am of their kind.

Source: The Collected Poems of Vernon Watkins