Red Cliffs I. – Su Shih

First Prose Poem On The Red Cliffs In the autumn of 1082, on the 16th of the seventh month, Master Su and his guests sailed in a boat below the Red Cliffs. Clear wind blew gently, the water was calm. The boaters raised their wine and poured for each other, reciting "The Bright Moon" and … Continue reading Red Cliffs I. – Su Shih

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Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #20

#20 There is a man who lives Halfway down the mountain. He and his young daughter of eight years Have joined me on walks by the river. She has taken an interest in my old pipa And I have taken her as a student. It is the greatest delight of my old age To have … Continue reading Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #20

Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #19

#19 My hands no longer work like they used to Stiff and achy, my fingers hurt to move. I long for music, but my pipa sits unplayed. I’ve carried it with me some days, Hoping to meet someone on the road Who can play me a familiar tune, any tune. AD886 龙火花 Long HuoHua Born … Continue reading Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #19

Dreams Of The Tang Dynasty #18

#18 This lonely mountain house, Is the only place my heart can rest. I wake up in the cold morning light, And go walking the quiet wooded paths. Our country crumbles around us, But the world of men means little here. Emperors rise and fall; sons and fathers die, But the pines and peaks remain … Continue reading Dreams Of The Tang Dynasty #18

Dreams Of The Tang Dynasty #17

#17 We boil spring water to make tea, Sitting on a grassy knoll above the water. The waterfall continues as it has always done, Ten thousand years with little change. How many lovers have sat as we have, Happy and content above this spring? I'm a cautious man, But this woman's a water dragon. She … Continue reading Dreams Of The Tang Dynasty #17

Dreams Of The Tang Dynasty #16

#16 Dragons Scale incense fills the air, I watch her morning rituals from the bed. Two fools who found each other in this life, And yet she still finds the time to pray. Holy priestess of the mountains, Fragrant blossom of the most precarious peaks. She has been overlooked by so many men, But only … Continue reading Dreams Of The Tang Dynasty #16

Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #13

#13 Hua Shan Flower Mountain, beautiful and perilous How many faithful men have fallen from her face? Her elegance and danger make my heart race, Men weren’t meant to scale such peaks. My prayers are said between heavy breaths, At a lonely shrine on her western cliffs. Exhausted, I rest for the night in a … Continue reading Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #13

Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #11

#11 We rowed out to an empty island on the Wei river, Mooring our boat to a fallen tree. She moved like water through the forest, Like a flood through my heart. The night was warm and bright, Lying on my blanket, we chanted poems to the stars. Naked, we woke up wet with morning … Continue reading Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #11

Xi Shi’s Ghost

Two thousand years ago There was a woman of exceptional beauty, So exceptional, the legend goes, That whenever she looked At her reflection in a pond, The fish would forget how to swim, And sink down into the darkness. Two thousand years later, I have forgotten how to live, Crushed by a vision of her … Continue reading Xi Shi’s Ghost

Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #6

#6 For Yu Gone now three long years My nights are long and cold without her. Executed at twenty six years of age, What cruelty to befall such beauty. Some blossoms fall from the tree when the time is right Others are cut down violently and trampled. Chang’An has become as dark as a moonless … Continue reading Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #6

Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #2

#2 For XinMei Her skin is as white and smooth as cream. Her hair, like a dark storm. She dances to an old mountain tune Wearing nothing but a white gauze dress. The cool air blows in through her open windows While we drink wine, and I write poems on her thigh. Her husband is … Continue reading Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #2

游崇真观南楼睹新及第题名处 Visiting the South Tower of Lofty-Truth Temple, I View the Newly Inscribed Names of Imperial Graduates – 鱼玄机 Yu Xuanji

游崇真观南楼, 睹新及第题名处 云峰满目放春晴, 历历银钩指下生。 自恨罗衣掩诗句, 举头空羡榜中名。 -鱼玄机 Visiting the South Tower of Lofty-Truth Temple, I view the newly inscribed names of Imperial Graduates Cloudy summits fill my eyes this fine spring day, I catch every silver stroke beneath my fingertips. How I hate this silk dress which conceals my poetry, I raise my head in … Continue reading 游崇真观南楼睹新及第题名处 Visiting the South Tower of Lofty-Truth Temple, I View the Newly Inscribed Names of Imperial Graduates – 鱼玄机 Yu Xuanji

夏日山居 A Summer Day Living in The Mountains – 鱼玄机 Yu Xuanji

夏日山居 移得仙居此地来, 花丛自遍不曾栽。 庭前亚树张衣桁, 坐上新泉泛酒杯。 轩槛暗传深竹径, 绮罗长拥乱书堆。 闲乘画舫吟明月, 信任轻风吹却回。 鱼玄机 A Summer Day Living In The Mountains I’ve moved to this residence suitable for the gods, Wild clusters of flowers bloom all over. My gown hangs on a tree in the front courtyard; I sit beside a fresh spring floating wine cups. Beyond the pavilion's … Continue reading 夏日山居 A Summer Day Living in The Mountains – 鱼玄机 Yu Xuanji

A Traveler of the Stars

As long as I'm in pursuit of You, I can never be lonely, my Love, For I carry You everywhere And You infect every crack and crevice Of my broken being. I am Your Kintsugi bowl And it's Your gold That has put me back together again. I shall never break As long as I'm … Continue reading A Traveler of the Stars

I Might Wait In Vain

I wait for a woman Who has the heart of Li Qing Zhao. Do I wait in vain? A woman who sits upon the mountain Just to watch the cherry blossoms bloom, A woman who finds the greatest pleasure in life, Drinking wine and drinking poetry Hours into the night.

The Ever Expansive Sky

Passionate fool, Why's it so hard for you To do as you ought to? Inexhaustible soul, Your heart, your life, Don't belong to you. The world is a mountain, A mountain on which you'll die, How far can you climb? Your days in the valley Are but memories down below So look not to the … Continue reading The Ever Expansive Sky

Soul-Sight

Like moon-dark, like brown water you escape, O laughing mouth, O sweet uplifted lips. Within the peering brain old ghosts take shape; You flame and wither as the white foam slips Back from the broken wave: sometimes a start, A gesture of the hands, a way you own Of bending that smooth head above your … Continue reading Soul-Sight

December Days Under The Trees

When you get down to it, Life is two friends Sitting by a river on a cold day Reading the words of dead men And basking in the glory. ...................... There are times When your body shakes From the pulsing blood, From the conscious thought, That this is your life. There is nothing you can … Continue reading December Days Under The Trees

View From The Cliffs

View From The Cliffs I climb the cold mountain by A steep path through the rocks, To my little cabin in The place where the clouds are born. I halt my cart and look out Over the forest of maples In the sunset. The frosted Leaves are more brilliant than Any flowers of spring .......... … Continue reading View From The Cliffs