Wandering Thoughts

I sit alone with my wine,

staring at the stars.

They look very far away.

I’ve reached old age.

I will soon be gone.

The stars are here to stay.

I’ve written six hundred poems.

It’s time to stop. I’ve said

what I can. It’s time

for drinking wine.

I watch the dead leaves

float down the river

to end in the sea. It’s

the same with my poems,

and the same with me.


-after Tu Fu

George Freek, USA

Alone in the Night

As I stare at the sky,

and the night deepens,

it seems like a hole

the stars fall into.

Trees wave like black

umbrellas. Life moves on.

It’s nearly over before

it’s begun. After

sixty years, that’s all I know.

I have said what I could.

I only seem able

to drink wine and laugh.

And my future

will be just like my past.


-after Lu Yu

George Freek, USA

I Get Up at Dawn

What can be more deceptive

than this October sun?

It promises new beginnings.

Old men dipping biscuits

in weak tea, smile

to reveal missing teeth,

as they turn from dying leaves,

falling from denuded trees.

They don’t think of what’s to come.

They think only of the sun,

of things not yet done.

But when I laugh at them,

my laugh is hollow.

I, of course, am one of them.


– after Lu Yu

George Freek, USA