Li Bai Tells Me a Story

BY HALLIE DONG (staff writer)

Note from the author: This poem is about the Chinese poet Li Bai and his cultural story, specifically how he liked to write poetry and where his inspirations were found. It includes a twist on his poems to ask questions about society’s standards against various cultures and many aspects of Chinese tradition.

drunk under a full moon again the sky a dark abyss eye whites staring

wineglass raised & toast celestial madness forgot how to think again

roaring / twisting / tunneling the world clears

he sees again oh Li Bai romanticizing the stars above the

battlefield they don’t have to know how bloodstained the moon

rose winding / squeezing / shutting Him out the door how did i

die? he thinks always remembering the distance between friends, the

darkness between stars, the flowers, the wilted ones

sitting in his lap after a wine party the wars never cease do they?

like the one right here right now i wonder what

would you say Li Bai do you care to enlighten me with your

ancient wisdom lost between waves and forest clearings

if you so worshiped the moon what do you tell people who worship

themselves ideals paper-white skin no, moon-

white skin things that will never be true yes tell them those who

think differences and change are to be feared you

never feared when the moon changed phases did you of

course not now tell me why is this any different take your oar and

slap me so hard i turn red red crimson vermillion

blood like the blood-moon ah so we weren’t too

different after all

Sharing culturally diverse stories to educate, inspire, and empower others