philanthropy from a cardboard box + a detour to Han-shan

by strannikov

philanthropy corrugated with a smirk

printed aside every cardboard box and room

every cardboard house with every cardboard door.


(cardboard comes in many grades, we might recall,

what they make today can be sturdy and stiff:

the printed smirks point to where the doors belong.)


portable cardboard houses are sturdy, light,

conferring portable charm when winds blow stiff,

leaving little ash left from any rude match.


"billions for millions!" philanthropies proclaim:

how could philanthropies have become so lame?

 = = = = =

detour to Han-shan

unmarked, this highway to Han-shan's hangout,

not one track of hoof or wheel,

mountains crowd each other, paths curl right and left,

ridges lining ridges into the air,

a thousand grasses steeped in dew,

clumps of pine strummed by the wind―

now you find you are on no path:

ask your shadow “where are we now?”