« La poésie, c’est l’art de bâtir des ponts entre ciel et terre »
Michel Deverge

French poet Michel Deverge was no artist-in-a-garret. Once a cultural, scientific and technical attache to the French Embassy in Singapore, he was also an art critic and philologist with a specialisation in Chinese Studies. His poems are quirky and surreal, reflecting in their minimalism and delicacy the influences of the East. Here are three translations. I have several more in preparation.


the fish watches the maggot
and the line and the rod and
up there on the end of the rod
in the stern of the punt
beneath the spreading shadow of his hat
the angler asleep in the sun.

the lapping of ripples against the flat boards
set against the rustling of the reeds
the punt solitary on the great lake
the fish its warder
and the silence its cell.


The master was polishing a brick
the pupil asked
why are you doing that
the master answered
to make a mirror
the pupil said
you can’t make a mirror from a brick
the master answered
you can’t become a buddha by sitting amongst the lotus


The asparagus tip
cast a morning glance
across the beach
close by
the basket
the kitchen knife

About Dick Jones

I'm a post-retirement Drama teacher, currently working part-time. I have a grown-up son and daughter, three grandchildren and three young children from my second marriage. I write - principally poetry but prose too, both fitfully published. My poetry collection Ancient Lights is published by Phoenicia Publishing (www.phoeniciapublishing.com) and my translation of Blaise Cendrars' 'Trans-Siberian Prosody and Little Jeanne from France' (illustrated by my friend, the artist, writer and long-time blogger Natalie d'Arbeloff) is published by Old Stile Press (www.oldstilepress.com). I play bass guitar & bouzouki in the song-based acoustic/electric trio Moorby Jones, playing entirely original material. https://www.facebook.com/moorbyjones?ref=aymt_homepage_panel http://www.moorbyjones.net/) https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=MOORBY+JONES spotify:artist:07MDD5MK9MnRGSEZwbsas9 I have a dormant blog with posts going back to 2004 at Dick Jones' Patteran Pages - http://patteran.typepad.com - and I'm a radio ham. My callsign is G0EUV
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  1. Dave Bonta says:

    These are terrific, Dick. I’m ashamed to admit I’d never heard of Michel Deverge.

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