Friday, March 11, 2011

I have taught in the Department of English at Appalachian State University, in Boone, North Carolina, since 1989, and work in the area of World Literature, with particular interest in Asian culture, literature and philosophy, as well as Latin American literature. I have co-edited An Introduction to Chinese Culture through the Family (SUNY Press, 2001), and edited a volume of Chinese folktales (NTC / Contemporary, 1997), as well as written articles on Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges and published poetry. I have taught in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America, and live with my wife Vicki in Millers Creek, North Carolina.


Rounding the hill it came into view
Clouds and earth
There are moments
When the body drops away
Then vision slowly settles back
But something remains
Plotinus and Emerson
Tell us so.


In the light of memory
This has its charms
Only in memory mind you
Though as time passes
Memory becomes all
Damp air, rhythmic pattering
Of drops drumming
Musky scent of decaying leaves.


A slit of blue in a canopy of green
Fire tower in the distance
You think about your life
The future which seems
Unfairly out of reach
Like fine strands of blown glass
Now out of the flame
You pass the night in a
Small shelter
In a clearing by a stream
Making a fire by night
Then settling down to sleep
Listening to insects and
Night creatures.


The torrent’s violent
Crests and eddies
Suck and push

Yet there’s a
Palpable joy
In the wind

The river breathes
A multitude of things
As the shore

Slides along
Rocks diving
And bobbing.


Slanted passageway to the
king’s burial

chamber; stone sarcophagus perfect

you and I and a gaggle of tourists

in this womb
visible from space

a hole for pharaoh’s soul to
rocket skyward

later we wandered Cairo markets and
sipped tea.


Snow piled high
Warm inside beside the stove

Sitting breathing being waiting
For the bell to ring

Snow piled high it’s warm inside
Quiet mind

Snow is falling
Mind is wind and falling snow

Snow piled high outside the zendo
Sitting breathing dreaming falling

Snow is drifting wind is blowing
Trees are swaying night has fallen.

Howard Giskin

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