Poem: A Center

You must hold your quiet center,
where you do what only you can do.
If others call you a maniac or a fool,
just let them wag their tongues. 
If some praise your perseverance, 
don't feel too happy about it —
only solitude is a lasting friend.
 
You must hold your distant center.
Don't move even if earth and heaven quake. 
If others think you are insignificant,
that's because you haven't held on long enough.
As long as you stay put year after year,
eventually you will find a world
beginning to revolve around you. 
                                                             Ha Jin

Intimacy, a poem

INTIMACY

I can be alone,
I know how to be alone.
 
There is a tacit understanding
Between my pencils
And the trees outside:
Between the rain
And my luminous hair.
 
The tea is boiling:
My golden zone,
My pure burning amber.
 
I can be alone,
I know how to be alone. By tea-light
I write.
 
Nina Cassian