Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom
Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Friday, December 31, 2010

Lu Tung Pin

My heart is the clear water in the stony pond.
Right now it is invaded by the peach-blossom shadows.
As soon as I arrive at heaven's palaces
I shall settle down with my seven-stringed lute.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mei Yaochen

A Rural Home
The cock crows three times; the sky is almost light.
Someone's lined up bowls of rice, along with flasks of tea.
Anxiously, the peasants rush to start the ploughing early,
I pull aside the willow shutter and gaze at the morning stars.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sho Ka

Black! crow standing
in his eye all eternity
Long shadows draw

Wild winds abate
In morning's first light
A broken teahouse

Bursting open
The rose dawn fills
My empty universe

No barrier now
Lofty mountain to one
Riding the wind.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Li Bai

Lily Magnolia
There is an end to the remotest
corner of the earth, while
There is an endlessness to the
yearning between lovers

Monday, December 27, 2010

Du Fu (712-770)

Winter Solstice
Dù Fǔ 712-770

Year after year on solstice day,
ever the wanderer;
Swift and sudden,
dead-end sorrows bogging me to death.
My features upon the Jiang--
I grow old by myself;
Locals' customs at world's end--
they're dear to each other.
Goosefoot staff: after snowfall,
I overlook Cinnabar Strath;
Sounding jade come since levee,
released from Purple Palace.
My heart is torn in this hour,
without one inch intact:
As my road errs,
in what place stay the 3 Realms of Qin?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hsu Yun


Cold smoke lingers like fog around a single lit house.
Like a lonely star the house rises up out of the cloud.

The ground is red like the inside of a fish's cheeks.
The mountains dark blue like a spiral conch's flared headdress.

Around half the pond grow poet Tao Qian's willows
And every ten miles stands one of Lord Xie Lingyun's pavilions.

To say Hello and Goodbye to such congenial and famous guests
Takes my breath away! Gives me a heady feeling
That's pretty hard to match.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Lao Tzu

. Each day I enjoy tea. I talk of it often. I have a wooden container I use each morning to draw water from the well. I bring the water into my home and heat it over a fire. I choose a tea to steep and then enjoy it while watching the sunrise. Each morning I take what I need from the well. Each morning it provides. It has always been there. Perhaps it always will.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Meng Haoran

Parting From Wang Wei
Quietly, I've waited here so long,
Day after day; but now I must return.
Now I go to seek the fragrant grass,
But I grieve to part from my old friend.
Who is there who would help me on the road?
Understanding friends are few in life.
I should just observe my solitude,
And close again the gate of my old home.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mei Yaochen

Mourning Loss
When we two first became husband and wife
Was seventeen years ago today.
We couldn't look at each other enough,
What loss could compare to this?
Already, my temples are mostly white,
I'd rather my body had finished its time.
In the end, we'll share a tomb;
Still not dead, I weep and weep.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Du Fu (712-770)

At Dreadloch Gorge, Meditating On Antiquity
Dù Fǔ

As the southwest's myriad straths outpour,
Even mighty foes--paired cliffs--divide.
The earth from its mountain roots severed;
The Jiang from its Moon Grottoes arrived.
Pared to a fit, facing White Lord;
Curved in a void, hiding Sun Terrace.
Tho' His Deed of dredging & boring was fair,
The power of the Potter's Wheel is immense!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Su Shi (1036-1101)

Awaking on a Boat at Night
Su Shi
A light breeze soughs quietly,
blowing river grasses.
I open the hatch expecting rain;
moonlight fills the lake.
Boatman and river birds
share the same dream;
A large fish suddenly jumps
and dives like a darting fox.
Late at night people and creatures
are oblivious of each other,
While in my case alone, form and shadow
delight each other.
The dark tide appears at the bank,
pity the cold crawlers,
The setting moon hangs in the willow,
see the spider suspended.
In this hurried life,
spent amid worries and troubles,
Pure scenes pass before the eyes--
how long can they last?
Cocks crow, bells sound,
flocks of birds take flight.
Drums beat on the bow,
shout answers shout.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sima Guang (1019-1086)

Away From Home In Early Spring
Sima Guang 1019-1086

April days fickle
clear.... rain...
then fine again,
Before my door South Mountain juts starkly,
Willow catkins no longer bob in the wind,
And sunflowers need to face the sun.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mei Yaochen

A Rural Home

The cock crows three times; the sky is almost light.
Someone's lined up bowls of rice, along with flasks of tea.
Anxiously, the peasants rush to start the ploughing early,
I pull aside the willow shutter and gaze at the morning stars.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rabgya Basang

When I was still a child at the breast,

I never thought of molding clay figures, or playing hide-and-seek,

Nor of the sky and earth,

But I had a vague impression:

“There is nothing in the world

As sweet as my motherland’s embrace.”

From the remote border region,

I crossed the Yangtze and Yellow rivers:

Though I haven’t been to the Changbai Mountains,

I whisper to myself in my heart:

“There is nothing in the world

As sweet as my motherland’s embrace.”

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Li Yu

A Heavenly Woman's Imprisoned in the Palace (Buddhist Dancers)
Li Yu

A heavenly woman's imprisoned in the palace at Penglai Hill,
All are silent as she sleeps by day in the painted hall.
Her glossy hair is spread like cloud on the pillow,
Her embroidered clothes bear a wondrous fragrance.
I secretly come and slide the pearl lock back,
She's startled from her dream behind the silver screen.
Her smiling face is overflowing with bliss,
We gaze at each other with unbounded love.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Yang Wanli (1124-1206)

At Jingci Temple Seeing Off Lin Zifang at Dawn
Yang Wanli 1124-1206

Finally West Lake in the month of July
The scene isn't like any other time of year
Sky-high lotus leaves are an endless blue-green
And their sunlit flowers are a different kind of red

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Autumn Moon
Clear sky not a cloud in sight,
Bright moon radiates a thousand miles.
Alone in my garden I raise my glass,
in the trees
an autumn wind rises.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Naropa (1016-1100)

Advice To Marpa Lotsawa
You Marpa, the translator from Tibet!
Do not make the eight worldly dharmas the goal of your life.
Do not create the bias of self and other, grasping and fixation.
Do not slander friends or enemies.
Do not distort the ways of others.
Learning and contemplation are the torch that illumines the darkness.
Do not be ambushed on the supreme path of liberation.
Previously, we have been guru and disciple;
Keep this with you in the future; do not give this up.
This precious jewel of your mind,
Do not throw it in the river like an idiot.
Guard it carefully with undistracted attention,
And you will accomplish all needs, desires, and intentions.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Li Shangyin

Sent North On A Rainy Night
You ask me what time I'll return, but I cannot give a time,
The rain in the hills of Ba at night overflows the autumn pools.
When can we trim the candle together by the western window,
And talk together of the rain in the hills of Ba at night?

Monday, December 6, 2010

T'ao Ch'ien

Idle Living
Though life is brief, feeling is everlasting;
That is why man wants to live long.
The sun and moon follow the stars.
The whole world loves this name.
The dew is cold, and the warm wind drops;
The air is penetrating, the day bright.
The departing swallow leaves no shadow;
The returning wild goose brings a lingering cry.
Wine can wash away a hundred woes,
And chrysanthemums set a pattern for old age.
Why should I, a hermit,
Gaze vacantly at the change of seasons?
The ministers are ashamed of their empty grain jars.
The autumn chrysanthemums are alone in their beauty.
I alone sing while fastening my garments.
A feeling of melancholy stirs deep within me.
It is true that there is much amusement in living,
But in idling is there no accomplishment?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hui Neng

" Confused by thoughts,
we experience duality in life.
Unencumbered by ideas,
the enlightened see the one Reality."

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hsu Yun


Heaven turns so slowly and gently, it tolerates my age.
Without mercy, days and months advance to cut off my time.

I return to my cave in the mountain, but the trees are all gone.
I look down on the river and all I see are meandering curves.
The sun is captured in a cage of delicate clouds.
I listen to the wind.

Suddenly I hear the Temple Bell!
The sound comes washing over me,
Waking me from the dusty labor of my thoughts.
And distant heaven opens wider and wider to me.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Li Bai

Ancient Air (39)
I climb up high and look on the four seas,
Heaven and earth spreading out so far.
Frost blankets all the stuff of autumn,
The wind blows with the great desert's cold.
The eastward-flowing water is immense,
All the ten thousand things billow.
The white sun's passing brightness fades,
Floating clouds seem to have no end.
Swallows and sparrows nest in the wutong tree,
Yuan and luan birds perch among jujube thorns.
Now it's time to head on back again,
I flick my sword and sing Taking the Hard Road.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Han Yu

Snow in Spring
The new year's come, but still the plants don't grow,
First in March I'm startled by grass shoots.
The white snow thinks the colours of spring are late,
So through the pavilion and trees it flies like blossom.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Du Mu

Drinking Alone
Outside the window, wind and snow blow straight,
I clutch the stove and open a flask of wine.
Just like a fishing boat in the rain,
Sail down, asleep on the autumn river.