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by John McKernan

for Jerry Webster

Oh to sit under
Fresh cherry blossoms
Reading Su Tung P’o
Drinking jasmine tea

To try to call back
The lilies the lilac
That surround the white house
I lived in on Cass Street

But always mid-west
Tornadoes slam through
My veins and even
Though I love Wang Wei

And his ripe plum blossoms
The slugs and the weeds
And a misplaced snow
Float over everything

So I am left with
Corn in my hands and
Hay wove through my hair.
I want to be kind.

I want to be wise
But just look at it
Omaha Nebraska!
See what you’ve done

To me and the blossoms
Of Wang Wei and Su Tung P’o.


Read the introduction to feature poet John McKernan by Founding Editor Askold Melnyczuk entitled Where is My Lariat?: The Poetry of John McKernan. (Spring 1975)

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