A gong is struck
in the temple of a dream


On the bare stage
of a bare room,

some that are not there, come.
Others not there, go.

While we in the audience
assume new positions, ideas.

Like a spear, the sound travels
through the night

and next day—reverberates
still—a subtle difference

more felt than heard,
but distinctly.


Some straightforward
yes and no

followed by
some circuitous.

Flimsy partitions

New compartments created.

A repositioning
of the old line, as in
which side are you on?

Some dead
and some living


A shade too green
or purple.

Their faces
colored wrong.


Once a week, the PEN Poetry Series publishes work by emerging and established writers from coast to coast. Subscribe to the Poetry Series mailing list and have poems delivered to your e-mail as soon as they are published (no spam, no news, just poems). We hope you like the pieces we find as much as we do, and pass them on.