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April 22nd JP Poem Pick

Thanks to Roy Bent who chose today’s piece and said that this is a “a short image poem by my long ago poetry teacher, John Balaban. He has spent much of his life writing poems inspired by Viet Nam, or translating poetry from Vietnamese.”

You can check out can learn more about John Balaban by clicking on these links:



Autumn Landscape 

by John Balaban


Drop by drop rain slaps the banana leaves.

Praise whoever sketched this desolate scene:


the lush, dark canopies of the gnarled trees,

the long river, sliding smooth and white.


I lift my wine flask, drunk with rivers and hills.

My backpack, breathing moonlight, sags with poems.


Look, and love everyone.

Whoever sees this landscape is stunned.


Wow. Beautiful choice, Roy. Thank you. 

So, for today’s prompt, let’s write a poem that uses a colon (:). Or, it could be about the bodily organ. I just think that we sometimes forget that punctuation can play such an integral part in poetry. Maybe you want to write a poem about punctuation in general. Again, use this prompt however you see fit; it’s purpose is only to get you writing!!!


One Response

  1. Roy, I was hooked from the sounds of the opening line:”Drop by drop, rain slaps the banana leaves.” I like the spareness of the poem and its “Eastern” feel, not just in the setting, but in the simplicity of the language, the calmness of being in nature and communing with its elements: rain, forest, river, poems and hills. Beautiful. I will look up your teacher’s work. Bart

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