The following were written to accompany works by Joan Anderson (www.Joanandersonarts.com). To me, her work so poignantly invokes lives of vanished beings in unknown, but slightly familiar worlds.
1) DRAGON TABARD
Radiant but silver banded and aloof
He humbly received his father’s throne.
He raised up altars and made offerings to the sky.
He raised up altars and made offerings to the mountain gods.
He raised up altars and made the offerings of living beings
To the rivers and the streams.
2) PHOENIX and DRAGON
The Golden Dragon
Dwells in the hidden tree
That holds the earth and sky apart
And is the resting place of thirteen suns.
Unconscious as a rainbow
Through the leaves and branches of the sky.
3) SMOKE AND WATER
Where is she;
Her small feet dancing,
Her small hands holding offerings
On upturned palms?
Where did she go?
4) GOLD CLASP and OJO GRID
The old slaves, sisters
Seized far off and many years ago,
They have served her.
The sisters have bathed and dressed her.
They have oiled her hair,
And they have watched,
5) WATER TRELLIS DRAGON'S ROBE
Even a mountebank has a moment
When beauty transforms him.
“This verse was etched on the grave stone of a magician, reputed to be able to enable others to see spirits. He was brought to court by the king. He gave the king give many foul tasting brews which made him ill. But, the King, rose from his fever and deliriously danced across the floor as if he were a god. When the King recovered, he remembered nothing and had the magician executed.”
“The King gave the master of the hunt a robe so beautiful that all envied him. Later, during a hunt, A jealous courtier shot the master of the hunt with an arrow through the heart. He claimed that he thought he had aimed at a golden pheasant.”
The new consort looks down
And shyly smiles.
Oh she blushes.
Oh how we are charmed.
9) CLOUD ROBE
The blind weaver felt the movements of the sky,
Imagining range on range of white mountain clouds,
Snow rising in the air.
Her clattering shuttle
Echoed like sure footsteps as she wove.
The king received the robe she made.
He held it silently, then had it hidden.
"No human," he said, "can wear it."
Bugaku, Japanese Court Dance- Tokyo