Hymnus Ad Patrem Sinensis
I praise those ancient Chinamen
Who left me a few words,
Usually a pointless joke or a silly question
A line of poetry drunkenly scrawled on the margin of a quick
splashed picture - bug, leaf,
caricature of Teacher -
on paper held together now by little more than ink
& their own strength brushed momentarily over it.
Their world and several others since
Gone to hell in a handbasket, they know it -
Cheered as it whizzed by -
&conked out among the busted spring rain cherry blossom winejars
Happy to have saved us all.
Philip Whalen, 1963