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

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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

Memories of Green

Working on a drawing of a blossom tree With "Memories of Green" playing mellow, Playing melancholy in the yellow incandescence. Lapsang Souchong and a lonely heart Make this man long for the subtle energies of a woman tonight. Amidst the jazz music and traditional Chinese paintings He doesn't have the characters for how he feels, … Continue reading Memories of Green

Beautiful Barbarian Love Song

To The Tune: Beautiful Barbarian The peonies are heavy with dew. She pauses in the court to pick a flower, Then coyly asks her lover, "Which do you think most pretty?" Because he likes to tease, he says, "I think perhaps the flower." She pretends offense in any case, crushes it, and throws it in … Continue reading Beautiful Barbarian Love Song

Sundown Song

It's when the descending sun Is level with the curtain hook That spring along this river Is at its very best. Good smells surround the gardens Along the riverbank A column of smoke from the beach Where boatmen cook their dinners Steadily chattering sparrows Fight to roost in the evening trees Gnats and mayflies swarm … Continue reading Sundown Song