that pearl

       that pearl
                            for Keikei
                            see note below
I.

your father a
truly educated man
for he had that
gift of the seer
saw the woman
in the just-born
child named you
after that pearl
that grows just a
little off centre
that grows beyond
perfection
like the bump
of laughter raised
in your cheeks
when smiling
the shadow of the
hollows when the
the heart falters
that frown in your eyes
he called you after
that most original
of pearls not for
decoration but
for life and lives
after, more beauty
than any perfection
more love than
either

II.
looking further
i saw your name
means too an
astrolabe
a globe of strips
of metal stood
apart and through
which you might
track the stars
the plough of ursa
major and even
names one glitter
too among those
stars that skirt
celestial north

yet for all this
navigation from
heaven to ocean
floor, your name
from pearl
to star
i must confess
i’m still
lost in the
pearl

The various meanings of the Chinese character in Keikei’s name (repeated twice) translated from the etymology found on the Chinese Baidu website:

A pearl that is not round
An astronomical measuring instrument (astrolabe)
One of the stars of Ursa Major

1. 不圆的珠子:珠~。
2. 古代测天文的仪器璇~。:
3. 北斗星名之一。

4 thoughts on “that pearl”

  1. Wow, thank you all gentlemen of the round table! As you say, Dean, the beauty of the imperfect, crooked teeth beat straight and white for me any day. Yes, who would rate those dreary straight rows of pine above a natural grown West Coast forest.

  2. lovely description of the beauty in the imperfect, the slightly off-centre of Hundertwasser building designs are more attractive precisely for that reason ; like a natural forest compared to acres of hand-planted pine!

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