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William L. Ramsey

ON ZHAO MENG-FU’S
“WANG RIVER SCROLL”
-Yuan Dynasty

More interesting even
than the mountain cottage

are the seven pine trees
on a nearby slope.  Alone,

except for scattered shrubs,
they break the foggy distance

into fact, draw forth
                        the gaze toward far peaks.


ORIGINS OF ECHOES

There is no cleverness that can obscure
the issue more than a lifetime. The kernel

of it lasts when the body has begun to waste
and finally shines out from the mind’s foil,

shredding memory with sheer immediacy,
the dry shell wet with the sound of water.


William L. Ramsey is an Associate Professor at Lander University in South Carolina. His poems have appeared over the last 25 years in Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Southern Poetry Review, The South Carolina Review, Tar River Poetry, Louisiana Literature, and other journals.