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LUNENGA [1-2-3--1-2-3--1-2-3--1-2-3--1-2-3--1-2-3--1-2-3]

A Lunenga is a linked poem of 21 verses. These verses are made up of one-line, two-lines and three-lines stanzas with a paragraph break between each stanza. Each stanza [1-2-3] is written by one person and the Lunenga can either be written solo or with one partner. One link has to include the moon. It was created by ai li on the 27 May 1997.


Copyright ai li 1997



ALONE with ai li and Alexis K. Rotella
NARROW ALLEY with ai li and Fay Aoyagi
CIRCUS by ai li
ON THE ROOF with ai li and Larry Kimmel
BLOSSOM VIEWING with ai li and Yu Chang
SISTER-IN-LAW with Larry Kimmel and ai li




A Lunenga between ai li and Alexis K. Rotella
London and Los Gatos, California
27 - 28 May 1997



she cries alone

the house on a hill
deep in shadow

oak staircase
creaking under
bedroom slippers



silent the moon-faced owl

the countenance
of a character from Dickens

blowing dust
from Spitzweg's



hot cocoa in his mug

beating moth
on a window pane

the dream
about missionaries
in drag



chicken bones on china plates

help help
crackles the ghost

in july



garden swing              falling petals

the girl in a bonnet
about to be engaged

a whorehouse in town
he pays for
the youngest girl



tourists in the Amish town

the hexagram quilt
made of polyester

A law banning astrology
was passed
late last night



all dressed              waiting for one star

the sound of waves
increasing my loneliness

i sit
with shells
on an indian mound




Copyright ai li and Alexis K. Rotella 1997




A Lunenga between ai li and Fay Aoyagi
London and San Francisco
28 May - 1 June 1997



narrow alley to nowhere

the poem of moonlight
on bare trees

chinese lute
playing behind gauze
in the west chamber



he has cut his pigtail

a letter-writer

bags of rice
at a train depot
year of the ox



servant girl embroidering slippers

kumquats arrive
by palanquin

the courtesan
hears a songbird
all night long



riding the wind              emperor

his heir
with burning eyes

eunuch died of
food poisoning...
a peacock cries



jade hairpin in the peach garden

the new consort
consulting the i-ching

exiled to siberia
with his furs



fox hunt              invisible trap

reading glasses for
fine prints

the butler brings
a muzzle and a whip



his smoking jacket in gold brocade

by lamplight
a glass of port

closing the book
on tu fu
distant wind chime




Copyright ai li and Fay Aoyagi 1997




A solo Lunenga by ai li

8 June 1997



a circus in town

i close my window
to the lion's roar

dreaming of bars
around the face
i love



the woman with a crystal ball           avoiding me

a tiger           eyeing
my striped suit

medicine man
selling youth
in a bottle



a clown and his over-sized shoe

drizzle on her wide back
fat lady

performing seals
tired of
the same fish



ring master summoned on his mobile phone

daredevil stunt
he makes the sign of the cross

trapeze act
a sequin falls
on my cheek



candy floss colouring the stick

chimpanzee finding
a peanut in my fist

the horse
with plumes



behind the scenes              solitaire

knife thrower
with cataract

the lame bare-back rider
alone with her
yellowing news cuttings



closing day              rain

the costumes
return to storage

a tent
under moonlight




Copyright ai li 1997




A Lunenga between ai li and Larry Kimmel
London and Colrain, Massachusetts
9 - 12 June 1997



barbecue on the roof

moon over
the teriyaki chicken

a skewer burns
while i watch
his roving eye



her naked presence sleeps

what price
this priceless femininity

on the glass-topped nightstand
catching my eye
a moon-coin



breathless under neon

a slit
revealing thigh              to wind

where his mouth



crossing the stream

her coy smile
skirt bunched above the knee

from the shade
of a maple
I watch          



wet from rain              blouse

a priest
smells 'Obsession'

the curve of breast
on a picnic table -



rumpled sheets

arms butterfly
fixing a barrette

her breast
takes the shape
of his hand



his departure at dawn

she fixes lunch
for two

at the door
rose in hand
the young priest





Copyright ai li and Larry Kimmel 1997




A Lunenga between ai li and Yu Chang
London and Schenectady, NY
9 - 16 June 1997



she finds a bench for blossom viewing

a snail silvering
the garden path

remembering the face
close to mine
under honeysuckle



a thorny twig comes home with me

through the leafing oak
rays of the setting sun

white petals
the blackberry bush



he's working late again

hedgehog at the back door
the ticking clock

under starlight
a police siren



a barn owl hoots

faded blue jeans
on the lichened rock

still visible
a lone pine
through the fog



hermit in conversation

a cave
of four winds

at the summit to
a crescent moon



she reaches for a nodding trillium

in the clearing
a family of skunks

down the rapids
an empty paint can



sunset on a white wall

breaking my meditation
falling leaf

north wind
the temple doors





Copyright ai li and Yu Chang 1997




A Lunenga between Larry Kimmel and ai li
Colrain, Massachusetts and London
16 - 22 June 1997



sister-in-law comes to visit

old Victorian house
the creaking hallways

she enters
wearing from navel up
only a flashlight beam



a ghost story for halloween

cold feet on the one
with a pallor

shadows of bare trees
on the hearse



coming home late

gibbous moon
through maple leaves

cigarette glow
a black sedan
strange to this street



the shapely ankle in Charles Jourdan

in raw silk

reading of the will
she brings along
two Afghans



at last, the house to himself

hot afternoon
he strips to shower

her perfumed dress
he kisses
its empty lap



two women in bed together

creme fraiche on ice
beluga on blinis

nude slip
for the
bible salesman



"two Manhattans coming up"

he wants to know
she won't tell

maraschino cherry
between white teeth
her taunting smile






Copyright Larry Kimmel and ai li 1997


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