Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom
Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Li Bai (701-762)

A Farewell Song of White Clouds
Li Bai

The white clouds float over the mountains of Chu--
As over the Mountains of Qin.
Everywhere the white clouds will follow you on.

They will follow you on everywhere--
With you they will enter the Chu mountains,
And cross the waters of the Xiang.

Yonder across the waters of the Xiang,
There is a cloak of ivy to wear,
And you may lie in a bed of white clouds.

Go swiftly home, O my friend!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)

One should gaze long at King Chu's hill, then ascend it.
Midnight on the jade bed amid regretful dreams.
A flower opening beneth the thrust of the plum branch,
Rocking gently, gently her water-nymph thighs.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fujiwara no Sadakata

If your name is true,
Trailing vine of "Meeting Hill,"
Isn't there some way,
Hidden from people's gaze,
That you can draw her to my side?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hsu Yun (1840-1959)


Walking in the mountains
You step through clouds at the tip of the ridge
And seen in the reflected light
The earth has not a speck of dust.

Standing in the mountains
You avoid the road of life and death
You can open your eyes and see a thousand saints
But they don't turn to look at you.

Sitting in the mountains
You spend the whole long day like this
Sitting till you wear through the mat
No word of any teaching drops into your lap.

Lying in the mountains
You imagine you've a mule or horse beneath you.
You'll get through. Master is an old man.
He knows the way by heart.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Li Bai (701-762)

Li Bai

"I am endlessly yearning
To be in Changan.
...Insects hum of autumn by the gold brim of the well;
A thin frost glistens like little mirrors on my cold mat;
The high lantern flickers; and. deeper grows my longing.
I lift the shade and, with many a sigh, gaze upon the moon,
Single as a flower, centred from the clouds.
Above, I see the blueness and deepness of sky.
Below, I see the greenness and the restlessness of water....
Heaven is high, earth wide; bitter between them flies my sorrow.
Can I dream through the gateway, over the mountain?
Endless longing
Breaks my heart."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Liu Changqing (714-790)

To a Poet Monk
Liu Changqing (714 - 790)
The Bamboo Groves Temple
stands amidst the deep green,
the temple bell carrying
the evening far
in a breeze.
A straw hat fastening
the setting sun,
you retreat alone
into the blue.
distant mountains.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Chia Tao (773-849)


The grass-covered path
is secluded and still;
a closed door faces
the Chung-nan Mountains.

In the evening, the air’s chilly,
but the light rain stops;
at dawn, far off,
a few cicada start.

Leaves fall
where no green earth remains;
a person at his ease
wears a common white robe.

With simplicity and plainness
his original nature still,
what need to practice
calming of the heart?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bai Juyi (772-846)

Chanting at Dusk on the Riverbank
Bai Juyi 772—846

The setting sun sheds a streak of light across the water,
Turning half of the river green, the other half red.
Lovely is the third night of the Ninth Moon:
The dewdrops are like pearls, the moon, like a bow.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)

Every day, priests minutely examine the Law
And endlessly chant complicated sutras.
Before doing that, though, they should learn
How to read the love letters sent by the wind
and rain, the snow and moon.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sagawara no Michizane

At the present time,
Since I could bring no offering,
See Mount Tamuke!
Here are brocades of red leaves,
As a tribute to the gods.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thich Nhat Hanh

Since the moon is full tonight,
let us call upon the stars in prayer.
The power of concentration,
seen through the bright, one-pointed mind,
is shaking the universe.

All living beings are present tonight
to witness the ocean of fear
flooding the Earth.

Upon the sound of the midnight bell,
everyone in the ten directions joins hands
and enters the meditation on Mahakaruna.

Compassion springs from the heart,
as pure, refreshing water,
healing the wounds of life.

From the highest peak of the Mind Mountain,
the blessed water streams down,
penetrating rice fields and orange groves.

The poisonous snake drinks
a drop of this nectar
from the tip of a blade of grass,
and the poison on its tongue vanishes.

Mara's arrow's
are transformed
into fragrant flowers.

The wondrous action of the healing water--
a mysterious transformation!
A child now holds the snake in her innocent arms.

Leaves are still green in the ancient garden.
The shimmering sunlight smiles on the snow,
and the sacred spring still flows toward the East.

On Avalokita's willow branch,
or in my heart,
the healing water is the same.

Tonight all weapons
fall at our feet
and turn to dust.

One flower,
two flowers,
millions of little flowers
appear in the green fields.

The gate of deliverance opens
with a smile on the lips
of my innocent child.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bai Juyi (772-846)

After Lunch
Bai Juyi

After lunch--one short nap;
On waking up--two cups of tea.
Raising my head, I see the sun's light
Once again slanting to the southwest.
Those who are happy regret the shortness of the day;
Those who are sad tire of the year's sloth.
But those whose hearts are devoid of joy or sadness
Just go on living, regardless of 'short' or 'long'.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Han Shan - (750)

You find a flower half-buried in leaves,
And in your eye its very fate resides.
Loving beauty, you caress the bloom;
Soon enough, you'll sweep petals from the floor.

Terrible to love the lovely so,
To count your own years, to say "I'm old,"
To see a flower half-buried in leaves
And come face to face with what you are.

- Han Shan, 750

Monday, January 16, 2012

Wang Wei (699-759)


A fisherman is drifting, enjoying the spring mountains,
And the peach-trees on both banks lead him to an ancient source.
Watching the fresh-coloured trees, he never thinks of distance
Till he comes to the end of the blue stream and suddenly- strange men!
It's a cave-with a mouth so narrow that he has to crawl through;
But then it opens wide again on a broad and level path --
And far beyond he faces clouds crowning a reach of trees,
And thousands of houses shadowed round with flowers and bamboos....
Woodsmen tell him their names in the ancient speech of Han;
And clothes of the Qin Dynasty are worn by all these people
Living on the uplands, above the Wuling River,
On farms and in gardens that are like a world apart,
Their dwellings at peace under pines in the clear moon,
Until sunrise fills the low sky with crowing and barking.
...At news of a stranger the people all assemble,
And each of them invites him home and asks him where he was born.
Alleys and paths are cleared for him of petals in the morning,
And fishermen and farmers bring him their loads at dusk....
They had left the world long ago, they had come here seeking refuge;
They have lived like angels ever since, blessedly far away,
No one in the cave knowing anything outside,
Outsiders viewing only empty mountains and thick clouds.
...The fisherman, unaware of his great good fortune,
Begins to think of country, of home, of worldly ties,
Finds his way out of the cave again, past mountains and past rivers,
Intending some time to return, when he has told his kin.
He studies every step he takes, fixes it well in mind,
And forgets that cliffs and peaks may vary their appearance.
...It is certain that to enter through the deepness of the mountain,
A green river leads you, into a misty wood.
But now, with spring-floods everywhere and floating peachpetals --
Which is the way to go, to find that hidden source?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)

A Fisherman
Studying texts and stiff meditation can make you lose your Original Mind.
A solitary tune by a fisherman, though, can be an invaluable treasure.
Dusk rain on the river, the moon peeking in and out of the clouds;
Elegant beyond words, he chants his songs night after night

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bai Juyi (772-846)

Mid Night Snow
Bai Juyi

Bed quilt's icy cold,
Outside the night is bright.
Bamboo snaps and crackles,
And I undestand...
a heavy snowfall.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fun'ya no Yasuhide (c.885)

Fun'ya no Yasuhide

It is by its breath
That autumn's leaves of trees and grass
Are wasted and driven.
So they call this mountain wind
The wild one, the destroyer.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Li Bai (701-762)

A Farewell Song of White Clouds
Li Bai 701-762

The white clouds float over the mountains of Chu--
As over the Mountains of Qin.
Everywhere the white clouds will follow you on.

They will follow you on everywhere--
With you they will enter the Chu mountains,
And cross the waters of the Xiang.

Yonder across the waters of the Xiang,
There is a cloak of ivy to wear,
And you may lie in a bed of white clouds.

Go swiftly home, O my friend!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hanshan Deqing (1564-1623)

Bone-chilling Snow
Hānshān Déqīng 1564-1623

bone-chilling snow on a thousand peaks
wildraging wind from ten thousand hollows
when I first awake deep beneath my blanket
I forget my body is in a silent world

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Su Shi

Given to Master of Donglin Temple
----Su Shi
Stream sound just like his broad tongue,
Isn't the mountain range like his purified body?
Tonight he chants eighty-four thousand gathas,
Tomorrow how can he awaken men?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Jiang Dongzhi (Ming Dynasty)

Jiang Dongzhi (Ming)

Rising from the clear slow flowing Ming River,
Newly built on an island connected by a sandbar.
Three lions
offer protection,
Successful candidates
astride great horses.
Fishermen perch on rocks
Peach blossoms float on waves,
Ancestral temple before
A boat below.
Today overlooking the river
I admire this tower
in the river's flow
proping up heaven.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Kuan Han Ch'ing (1240-1320)

Idle Wandering
go where my mind will
sit when my heart's still
drink when I'm thirsty
and sing when I'm drunk
when hard times come
I find a pile of grass and sleep
the days and months are long
the world is vast
and idleness is happiness

toss off the vintage wine
use up the raw
laugh beside the earthen pot
ha, ha, ha,
hum harmonies together with this rude old mountain bonz
he has a pair of chickens
I've brought along a duck
and idleness is happiness

I've reined mind's horses
locked up my monkey heart
leapt up from red dust and evil-mannered wind
who woke me from my shady dreams of Empire?
I've left the field of honor
and wormed into a nest of joys
where idleness is happiness

he's ploughed the southern field
and slept among the eastern hills
I've been the way the world goes, often
vainly measured bygones in my mind
he's the saint
and I'm the fool
who'd argue that?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)

this ink painting of wind
blowing through pines
who hears it?

oh yes things exist like the echo when you yell
at the foot of a huge mountain

sin like a madman until you can't do anything else
no room for any more

Friday, January 6, 2012

Monk Sosei (c. 850)

The Monk Sosei

Just because she said,
"In a moment I will come,"
I've awaited her
Until the moon of daybreak,
In the long month, has appeared.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Kyogen Kigo

Forgetting all knowledge at one stroke,
I do not need cultivation anymore.
Activity expressing the ancient road,
I don't fall into passivity.
Everywhere trackless,
conduct beyond sound and form:
the adepts in all places
call this the supreme state.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chen Zi-ang (661-702)

White Emperor City, Brooding On The Past
Chen Zi-ang 661-702

Sunset on Blue River..Late,
Rest the oars, ask about local legends.
Baidicheng towers over Lord Ba's country,
Terrace empty, Han Emperor's palace gone.
Desolate now, once Zhou Dyansty domain,
Deep mountains over Yu's exploits.
Crags jut out, green cliffs sundered,
Menacing land, dark river flows on.
Hoary trees thrive at cloud's edge,
Returning sail cleaves the mist.
River route flows on relentless,
Rambler sits brooding without end.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thich Nhat Hanh

My head pillowed on waves--
I drift with the flow--
broad river,
deep sky.
They float, they sink,
like bubbles,
like wings.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Wang Wei (699-759)


There's a girl from Loyang in the door across the street,
She looks fifteen, she may be a little older.
...While her master rides his rapid horse with jade bit an bridle,
Her handmaid brings her cod-fish in a golden plate.
On her painted pavilions, facing red towers,
Cornices are pink and green with peach-bloom and with willow,
Canopies of silk awn her seven-scented chair,
And rare fans shade her, home to her nine-flowered curtains.
Her lord, with rank and wealth and in the bud of life,
Exceeds in munificence the richest men of old.
He favours this girl of lowly birth, he has her taught to dance;
And he gives away his coral-trees to almost anyone.
The wind of dawn just stirs when his nine soft lights go out,
Those nine soft lights like petals in a flying chain of flowers.
Between dances she has barely time for singing over the songs;
No sooner is she dressed again than incense burns before her.
Those she knows in town are only the rich and the lavish,
And day and night she is visiting the hosts of the gayest mansions.
...Who notices the girl from Yue with a face of white jade,
Humble, poor, alone, by the river, washing silk?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)

To write something and leave it behind us,
It is but a dream.
When we awake we know
There is not even anyone to read it.

Look at the cherry blossoms!
Their color and scent fall with them,
Are gone forever,
Yet mindless
The spring comes again.

why is it all so beautiful this fake dream
this craziness why?