The Art of Huang JunBi (1898-1991): A Chinese Master

You ask me why I dwell here in the green mountains; I smile and make no reply for my heart is free of care. As a peach-blossom floats down stream and disappears into the unknown, I too have another world that's far from men. - Li Bai

Reply to a Poem, Matching the Form – 鱼玄机 – Yu Xuanji – Yu Hsuan Chi

The blood-red bustle, the purple muddle of this human world... alone and quiet, chanting, in the midst of sunlit scenery giving up wanting a lover or hoping for literary fame conceiving a wonderful poem in the midst of a fortified village plain flowers, so simple and right I'm ashamed to express my gratitude residing secluded, … Continue reading Reply to a Poem, Matching the Form – 鱼玄机 – Yu Xuanji – Yu Hsuan Chi

Dreams Of The Tang Dynasty #24

#24 A Poem For My Friend Zhang Li The winds of change are always blowing. An old enemy from my official days in Chongqing Now hides on the far side of my mountain. We wonder now what all our troubles were about. He has been making wine, we drink it every day, And we talk … Continue reading Dreams Of The Tang Dynasty #24

Dreams Of The Tang Dynasty #23

#23 These chaotic days have turned my hair gray, My body grew old in a season, Hiding in these mountains, Penetrated to the bone by cold serenity. My body suffers, but my soul finds rest In the quiet frosty pines - Cold breath illuminated by the sunrise. I remember the greener days of my childhood, … Continue reading Dreams Of The Tang Dynasty #23

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

Dreams Of The Tang Dynasty #21

#21 There is no way, there is no balance, All the world is chaos and injustice. Tradition insists that women are darkness, And men are lightness - but tradition is wrong. She was my light- my burning flower, Without her I reside in an eternal moonless night. Losing the last remnant of any love in … Continue reading Dreams Of The Tang Dynasty #21

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 #15

#15 Unable to Breathe Because of a Letter From the Capitol In my chambers, unable to breathe, All the color has left the world. A letter arrived from Chang’An today, I’ve read it a hundred times, The characters make no sense to my eyes, An official notice of execution. The magistrate tells me it is … Continue reading Dreams Of The Tang Dynasty #15

Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #14

#14 A Poem From Chongqing Official duties have taken me so far from home, Down in this southern land of mountains and heat. Only a few hours after sunrise, And already all my clothes are wet. I think about a woman who rules my heart, Alone in her bed, night after night. I write poems … Continue reading Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #14

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 #12

#12 Perched on the cliffside, Overlooking a little mountain river. I shift my wine jug on the stone, Searching for a stable place to let it stand. Bare trees, and a cool breeze, A bird sings a spring song in the pines above. Such peace is rare in these uncertain days, But such beauty will … Continue reading Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #12

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

Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #10

#10 The first days after the fields are planted, Peasant families all walk the river bank. Young boys show off their strength, Seeing who can climb the tallest trees. Young girls sit with their mothers, On bamboo mats in the grass. Five old men sit on a rotten log, Drinking cool wine and talking about … Continue reading Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #10

Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #9

#9 The Great Flood (Written Upon Hearing About XinMei’s Death) The gods of the river are in a raging fury, Sending flood waters down upon my province. Everything I’ve ever known, Washed away into oblivion. My love, her husband, my village, her prison, Just memories now stolen by the void. Is it karma for our … Continue reading Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #9

Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #8

#8 The fortresses burn - blood flows everywhere, Birds feast on the ruins of a grand age. I seek solace from the violence in the mountain's mazes, Eating wild berries; my stomach aches with hunger. One moment you are feasting and warm, The next moment alone, cold, and hungry. I sit by an ancient and … Continue reading Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #8

Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #7

#7 Everyone in the capitol is a poet, No one in the capitol is a poet. The poetry which flickered inside me, Is buried now in an unmarked grave. I thought I saw her face on the street, But I see her face in everything. The mist creeps in over the mountains, I wish I could … Continue reading Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #7

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 #5

#5 For Yu I sit on top of Old Pine Mountain Chanting her beautiful words. The only thing sweeter than her mouth And more intoxicating than her wine Was the sound of her voice reciting DuFu. For many years I thought The last great poetry died with Bai Juyi, But she could conquer any man … Continue reading Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #5

Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #4

#4 The youth of Chang’An no longer respect the ancient ways, Consumed by the temporary passions of the city. They drink wine all night and spend their days dreaming of ways To waste the Emperor’s money. Enemies gather around us in the countryside; readying for war, While the young men of the court feast on … Continue reading Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #4

Dreams of the Tang Dynasty #1

#1 The moon shines like a phosphorescent pearl, Washing the pines and water in a silver glow. I've walked this wooded path many nights; Singing songs to the heavenly river above About this earthly river below. Sitting on my favorite rock, I write these words with water on stone, "How many years do I have … Continue reading Dreams of the Tang Dynasty #1

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