Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom
Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hsu Yun (1840-1959)!!

An Exquisite Truth
by Hsu Yun

Original Language Chinese

This is an exquisite truth:
Saints and ordinary folks are the same from the start.
Inquiring about a difference
Is like asking to borrow string
when you've got a good strong rope.
Every Dharma is known in the heart.
After a rain, the mountain colors intensify.
Once you become familiar with the design of fate's illusions
Your ink-well will contain all of life and death.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Fujiwara no Asatada (910-966)

If it should happen
That we never met again,
I would not complain;
And I doubt that she or I
Would feel that we were left alone.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Zhang Jiuling (673-740)


The moon, grown full now over the sea,
Brightening the whole of heaven,
Brings to separated hearts
The long thoughtfulness of night....
It is no darker though I blow out my candle.
It is no warmer though I put on my coat.
So I leave my message with the moon
And turn to my bed, hoping for dreams.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ryokan (1758-1831)

A nightingale's song
by Ryokan

A nightingale's song
Brings me out of a dream:
The morning glows.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cui Hao (704-754)

Yellow Crane Tower
Cui Hao 704-754

A man rode off on a crane long ago
Yellow Crane Tower is all that remains
Once the crane left it never returned
For a thousand years clouds have wandered in vain
The trees of Hanyang shine in midstream
The sweet plants of spring overrun Parrot Isle
At sunset I wonder which way is home
Mist on the river only means sorrow

Li Ching Chao (1084-1151)

A Song of Departure by Li Ching Chao

Warm rain and soft breeze by turns
Have just broken
And driven away the chill.
Moist as the pussy willows,
Light as the plum blossoms,
Already I feel the heart of Spring vibrating.
But now who will share with me
The joys of wine and poetry?
Tears streak my rouge.
My hairpins are too heavy.
I put on my new quilted robe
Sewn with gold thread
And throw myself against a pile of pillows,
Crushing my phoenix hairpins.
Alone, all I can embrace is my endless sorrow.
I know a good dream will never come.
So I stay up till past midnight
Trimming the lamp flower’s smoking wick.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Han Shan (T'ang Dynasty - 618-906)

Once, my back wedded to the solid cliff,
I sat silently, bathed in the full moon's light.

I counted there ten thousand shapes,
None with substance save the moon's own glow.

The pristine mind is empty as the moon,
I thought, and like the moon, freely shines.

By what I knew of moon I knew the mind,
Each mirror to each, profound as stone.

- Han Shan, 750

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Shadoka (7th Century)

[3] When we realize actuality (from The Shodoka)
by Hsuan Chueh of Yung Chia / Yoka Genkaku
(665 - 713) Timeline

7th Century

When we realize actuality,
There is no distinction between mind and thing
And the path to hell instantly vanishes.
If this is a lie to fool the world,
My tongue may be cut out forever.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fujiwara no Atsutada (905-943)

I have met my love.
When I compare this present
With feelings of the past,
My passion is now as if
I have never loved before.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Chu Mo (850-900)

Shengguo Temple
Chù Mò 850-900

The path mounts between peaks,
Coiling up between vines and creepers.
By the river Wu country ends,
On the far shore Yue mountains rise.
Old trees cluster in blue haze,
Far horizon dips into white waves.
Close below city walls are near,
Sounds of temple bells
and reed pipes blend.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tang Xuanzong (685-762)


O Master, how did the world repay
Your life of long solicitude? --
The Lords of Zou have misprized your land,
And your home has been used as the palace of Lu....
You foretold that when phoenixes vanished, your fortunes too would end,
You knew that the captured unicorn would be a sign of the dose of your teaching....
Can this sacrifice I watch, here between two temple pillars,
Be the selfsame omen of death you dreamed of long ago?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Yu Xuanji (844-869)

the late spring

by Yu Xuanji

lovers seldom come to this deep alley
their spirits have to linger on in dreams

whose fragrance of damask is this?
from which tower does this breeze blow the song?

sounds of drums in the street
disturb my morning sleep
magpies chirping in the courtyard
confuse my spring sorrows

how can I care
for things of this world?
ten thousand miles, my life,
like a boat unmoored

Monday, June 18, 2012

Chia Tao (779-843)

Spring Travel

Keeping on and on,
a traveler gets farther, farther away;
dust of the world
follows an indefatigable horse.

A traveler's feelings
after the sun's rays slant-
colors of spring
in the morning mist.

The river's flow heard
at the empty inn-
flowers just blooming
at the old palace.

I think of home
a thousand li away;
wind off the pond
stirs in green willows.

Chia Tao

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Du Fu (712-770)

A Guest Comes
Du Fu 712-770

North of my cottage
south of my cottage
everywhere spring waters,
But for visitors
only gulls
daily come.
I didn't sweep
the flower path
not expecting guests,
The gate is open now
do come in!
The meal
far from the market
a simple thing,
Grab a wine cup
a poor houshold
only old home brew
If you agree
I'll invite the old cdger next door
to join us for a drink,
Across the fence
we'll hoot and holler
and drain our cups!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)

A Meal of Fresh Octopus

Lots of arms, just like Kannon the Goddess;
Sacrificed for me, garnished with citron, I revere it so!
The taste of the sea, just divine!
Sorry, Buddha, this is another precept I just cannot keep.

Ikkyu Sojun

Friday, June 15, 2012

Kiyohara no Motosuke (908-990)

Our sleeves were wet with tears
As pledges that our love--
Will last until
Over Sue's Mount of Pines
Ocean waves are breaking.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Li Ching Chao (1084-1151)

A Morning Dream by Li Ching Chao
This morning I dreamed I followed
Widely spaced bells, ringing in the wind,
And climbed through mists to rosy clouds.
I realized my destined affinity
With An Ch'i-sheng the ancient sage.
I met unexpectedly O Lu-hua
The heavenly maiden.

Together we saw lotus roots as big as boats.
Together we ate jujubes as huge as melons.
We were the guests of those on swaying lotus seats.
They spoke in splendid language,
Full of subtle meanings.
The argued with sharp words over paradoxes.
We drank tea brewed on living fire.

Although this might not help the Emperor to govern,
It is endless happiness.
The life of men could be like this.

Why did I have to return to my former home,
Wake up, dress, sit in meditation.
Cover my ears to shut out the disgusting racket.
My heart knows I can never see my dream come true.
At least I can remember
That world and sigh.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Li Po (Li Bai- 701-762)

Ballads Of Four Seasons: Summer

On Mirror Lake outspread for miles and miles,
The lotus lilies in full blossom teem.
In fifth moon Xi Shi gathers them with smiles,
Watchers o'erwhelm the bank of Yuoye Stream.
Her boat turns back without waiting moonrise
To yoyal house amid amorous sighs.

Li Po

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Shodoka - Yoka Genkaku

[2] When the Dharma body awakens completely (from The Shodoka)
by Hsuan Chueh of Yung Chia / Yoka Genkaku
(665 - 713) timeline

7th Century

When the Dharma body awakens completely,
There is nothing at all.
The source of our self-nature
Is the Buddha of innocent truth.
Mental and physical reactions come and go
Like clouds in the empty sky;
Greed, hatred, and ignorance appear and disappear
Like bubbles on the surface of the sea.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Po Chu-i (772-846)


Addressed to Ch'en, the Hermit

At Ch'ang-an — a full foot of snow ;
A levée at dawn — to bestow congratulations on the Emperor.
Just as I was nearing the Gate of the Silver Terrace,
After I had left the suburb of Hsin-ch'ang
On the high causeway my horse's foot slipped;
In the middle of the journey my lantern suddenly went out
Ten leagues riding, always facing to the North ;
The cold wind almost blew off my ears.
I waited for the bell outside the Five Gates ;
I waited for the summons within the Triple Hall,
My hair and beard were frozen and covered with icicles ;
My coat and robe — chilly like water.
Suddenly I thought of Hsien-yu Valley
And secretly envied Ch'en Chü-shih,
In warm bed-socks dozing beneath the rugs
And not getting up till the sun has mounted the sky.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ryokan (1758-1831)

Even if you consume as many books
by Ryokan

Even if you consume as many books
As the sands of the Ganges
It is not as good as really catching
One verse of Zen.
If you want the secret of Buddhism,
Here it is: Everything is in the Heart!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Feng-kan (c.800)

Sinking like a rock in the sea
by Feng-kan (Big Stick)

Sinking like a rock in the sea
drifting through the Three Worlds
poor ethereal creature
ever immersed in scenes
until a flash of lightning shows
life and death are dust in space

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mibu no Tadami (?)

It is true I love,
But the rumor of my love
Had gone far and wide,
When people should not have known
That I had begun to love.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wang Wei (701-761)

Deep in the mountain wilderness
Where nobody ever comes
Only once in a great while
Something like the sound of a far off voice,
The low rays of the sun
Slip through the dark forest,
And gleam again on the shadowy moss.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Liu Yuxi (c. 772)

Black Gown Lane
Liu Yuxi 772

Beside Vermilian Bird Bridge
wild weeds bloom,
By entrance of Black Gown Lane
slanting evening sun.
In old times
swallows nested
in the mansions
of Wang and Xie,
Now they perch
in the in the homes
of humbler folk.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lao Tzu (c. 600 BCE)

Meet it, and you do not see its beginning.
Follow it, and you do not see its end.
Stay with the ancient Way
in order to master what is present.
Knowing the primeval beginning is the essence of the Way.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Nalan Xingde (1655-1685)

The mountain, a march;
The river, a march;
The the uplands and over the Yu Kuan Pass I go.
Countless lamps in the tented darkness glow.
A night-watch of wind,
A night-watch of snow -
And a clamor that shatters my sleepless home-sick heart.
I know a garden where it is not so.

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, June 2, 2012

Taira no Kanemori (?-991)

Though I would hide it,
In my face it still appears--
My fond, secret love.
And now he questions me:
"Is something bothering you?"

Friday, June 1, 2012

Li Po (Li Bai-701-762)

Ballads Of Four Seasons: Summer

On Mirror Lake outspread for miles and miles,
The lotus lilies in full blossom teem.
In fifth moon Xi Shi gathers them with smiles,
Watchers o'erwhelm the bank of Yuoye Stream.
Her boat turns back without waiting moonrise
To yoyal house amid amorous sighs.

Li Po