pathos is the skyward tanka

by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé

a mother swathed in muslin
scavenging, rubble

behind the sea of biscay
a burned down house on a mound
a bargain respect, absent

what was us, what was sweet home
lost to an ornery sound
shanks pressed into the pallid

how they grieve even –

in flight, there’s nothing
no coast, of drift, remembrance

so she writes because
she forgets what she puts down
rope and field of lies

rising flames, a white refrain

driftpin verse forms miscreant
as if resting on water –
a sail, ascension

Red Ochre Lit

Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé's picture

Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé has edited more than ten books and co-produced three audio books. The titles span the genres of ethnography, journalism, creative nonfiction, and poetry, several edited pro bono for non-profit organizations including Sok Sabay Cambodia, Riding for the Disabled Association, and the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre. Previously an entertainment and lifestyle journalist, Desmond has traveled to Australia, France, Hong Kong and Spain for his stories, culminating in the authorship of the limited edition Top Ten TCS Stars for Caldecott Publishing. Trained in book publishing at Stanford University, with a theology masters (world religions) from Harvard University and fine arts masters (creative writing) from the University of Notre Dame, he is the recipient of the Hiew Siew Nam Academic Award, and Singapore Internationale Grant, with his poetry and fiction appearing in nine chapbooks, various anthologies, and over 140 literary journals. An interdisciplinary artist, Desmond also works in clay, his ceramic works housed in museums and private collections in India, the Netherlands, the UK and the US.

Last updated May 31, 2011