The Melon-Carts Have Overturned

By Linda Zeiser and Trena Machado

Melon-Carts Have Overturned

writing samples


Huge burgundy dahlia stuns the dawn,
200 spiked petals reach up for the sun.
My lover remains on the ridge at Fu-Lin,
estranged from her heart in lilting despair

—Wu Song, Linda Zeiser


By Trena Machado

Huge burgundy dahlia, 200 spiked petals, stuns the dawn
fusing through to take on the sun. “Burgundy” and “spiked”
realistically describes this dahlia, a dahlia that is beyond being
realisitic. Since the second couplet is about someone who is
estranged from herself at the deep level of being estranged
from her own heart and caught in despair’s grasp, “lilting”
closes the gap between the external and internal in an echo
that is a haunting breach of normality and the lack of
existential comfort. The objective world of the one in
despair is controlled by the subjective: the first couplet could
have marched upward into the second couplet in a grand
sweep of natural, life-giving effulgence. That does not
happen. The magnificence of the dahlia is wrenched out of its
glorious naturalness expressing the danger of a heart in despair.


How lofty is my shaman’s gaze,
a turquoise blanket wraps the night.
1,000 stars reflect the glow,
red candles flicker fervently.

—Wu Song, Linda Zeiser


By Trena Machado

With the “shaman’s gaze” I feel I am peering into and through
another kind of space from a third eye within my own being:
inside feels like outside, outside feels like inside. “A
turquoise blanket wraps the night” makes this space feel like
a cosmic tent, the glow of the turquoise blanket lighting a
thousand stars with shaman intensity. The universe in
rhythm with the shaman’s emanations, red candles flicker
fervently with the spontaneity of the shaman’s will, along
with the kindred spontaneity of the moon pulling the tides
back and forth, the spontaneity of deer springing away from a
mountain lion, the spontaneity of dragonflies hatching for a
week of life. Life is fervent. Life is red…the shaman’s gaze
the inside flicker of life’s flame. No separation.


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