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

Dreams Of The Tang Dynasty #22

#22 Official Duty The common people care nothing for intrigue Consumed by work all their days So they can afford to pay the Emperor's taxes. Merciless officials fill their coffers to overflowing. Official duty in these restless days Fills this tired poet with shame. The Analects talk of ruling justly But where, in all the … Continue reading Dreams Of The Tang Dynasty #22

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 #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 #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 #3

#3 The Emperor taxes the people without relent, Rumors of rebellion are whispered in the streets. By the time the eunuchs have taken what they want, There is hardly anything left to get through the winter. Mothers suffocate their babies in the night, Many sell their daughters to officials or whore houses for food. I … Continue reading Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #3

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

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

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

From: The Journey North

Well, now I'm coming home From troubles of my own And with hair gone white I wonder if they'll know me Here's my wife at last Wearing a much-patched dress Crying to see me here Sighing like wind in the pine trees Sobbing uncontrollably Like any babbling brook And here's my boy, all pale, The … Continue reading From: The Journey North