Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom
Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Yang Wan-li (1127-1206)

Don’t read books…
It’s so much better
to close your eyes sit in your study
lower the curtains, sweep the floor,
burn incense.
take a walk when you feel energetic,
and when you’re tired go to sleep.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Du Fu (712-770)

Night Journey Thoughts

        Bent grasses in slender breeze.
        Boat’s mast high in empty night.
        Starlight shining near the plain.
        Moon floating on river’s light.
        All this writing, but no name.
        Illness and years, without a place.
        Drifting, wandering, what am I?
        A white bird over earth and sky.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Saigyo Hoshi (1118-1190)

The Monk Saigyo

Should I blame the moon
For bringing forth this sadness,
As if it pictured grief?
Lifting up my troubled face,
I regard it through my tears
Saigyo :

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Li Yu (937-978)

How Can a Man Escape Life's Sorrow and Regret? (Midnight Song)
Li Yu

How can a man escape life's sorrow and regret?
What limit is there to my solitary grief?
I returned to my homeland in a dream,
As I awakened, I shed two tears.
Who now will climb up those high towers,
I remember those clear autumn scenes.
Those past events have lost their meaning,
They disappear as in a dream.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Meng Hao-jan (689-740)

Autumn Begins
Autumn begins unnoticed. Nights slowly lengthen,
and little by little, clear winds turn colder and colder,
summer's blaze giving way. My thatch hut grows still.
At the bottom stair, in bunchgrass, lit dew shimmers.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Du Fu (712-770)

The Eight Formations
Your achievements overshadowed
     any in the Three Kingdoms;
most famous of all was your design
     for the Eight Formations.

Against the river’s surge,
     they stand solid, immovable,
a monument to your lasting regret
     at failing to swallow up Wu.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chia Tao (779-843)

Morning Travel

Rising early
to begin the journey;
not a sound
from the chickens next door.

Beneath the lamp,
I part from the innkeeper;
on the road, my skinny horse
moves through the dark.

Slipping on freshly
hoarfrosted stones,
threading through woods,
we scare up birds roosting.

Behind us, a bell
tolls in far mountains;
the colors of daybreak
gradually clear.
Chia Tao :

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ts'ai-ken T'an (circe 1590)

Don't have to stretch your mind too far, nor too many things to keep.   A couple of rocks on a shallow dish
can assume miles of  mountains and rivers. 
A couple of words and statements can reveal the mind of a great saint. Knowing it shows the insights of an intellectual.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)

To Lady Mori with Deepest Gratitude and Thanks

The tree was barren of leaves but you brought a new spring.
Long green sprouts, verdant flowers, fresh promise.
Mori, if I ever forget my profound gratitude to you,
Let me burn in hell forever.
Ikkyu Sojun :

Friday, September 19, 2014

Wang Wei (699-759)

Deer Enclosure
Wang Wei

Hills are empty, no man is seen,
Yet the sound of people's voices is heard.
Light is cast into the deep forest,
And shines again on green moss.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wei Ying-Wu (737-791)

Alone at Night at My Monastic Residence: To Secretary Ts’u
The recluse is in bed but not asleep
leaves are falling in flurries
a cold rain makes the late night darker
fireflies are gone from the tower
the blue flames of dawn are no help
I still suffer from a thin summer robe
I didn’t realize the year was so lateor living apart was so lonely

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

T'ao Ch'ien (365-427)

Ninth Day, Ninth Month
        Slowly autumn comes to an end.
Painfully cold a dawn wind thicks the dew.
Grass round here will not be green again,
Trees and leaves are already suffering.
The clear air is drained and purified
And the high white sky’s a mystery.
Nothing’s left of the cicada’s sound.
Flying geese break the heavens’ silence.
The Myriad Creatures rise and return.
How can life and death not be hard?
From the beginning all things have to die.
Thinking of it can bruise the heart.
What can I do to lighten my thoughts?
Solace myself drinking the last of this wine.
Who understands the next thousand years?
Let’s just make this morning last forever.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Emperor Sanjo (976-1017)

Emperor Sanjo
Though I do not want
To live on in this floating world,
If I remain here,
Let me remember only
This midnight and this moonrise.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Xue Tao (768-831)

A Spring in Autumn

Behind a ribbon of evening mist, a chill sky distills,
and a melody of far waterfalls like ten silk strings
comes to my pillow to tug my feelings,
keeping me awake in sorrow past midnight.
Xue Tao :

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Flower Adornment Sutra (circe 420)

In ten directions everywhere, throughout the sea of lands,
Every hair-tip encompasses oceans of past, present and future.
So, too, there is a sea of Buddhas, a sea of Buddha lands;
Pervading them all, I cultivate for seas of endless time.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Li Po (701-762)

A Mountain Revelry

To wash and rinse our souls of their age-old sorrows,
We drained a hundred jugs of wine.
A splendid night it was . . . .
In the clear moonlight we were loath to go to bed,
But at last drunkenness overtook us;
And we laid ourselves down on the empty mountain,
The earth for pillow, and the great heaven for coverlet.
Li Po :

Friday, September 12, 2014

Wang Wei (699-761)

               Mountain fruit drop in the rain
               and grass insects sing under my oil lamp.
               White hair, after all, can never change
               as yellow gold cannot be created.
               If you want to know how to get rid
               of age, its sickness, study nonbeing.
                                     -   Wang Wei, 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Saicho (767-822)

A Thatched Hermitage My Home

A thatched hermitage my home,
Bamboo leaves my throne.
My life is all practise,
Sacrificed to the precepts,
Guarding the country.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Taigu Ryokan (1758-1831)

Deep In the Mountains
        Ryokan 1758-1831

Deep in the mountains
        all snow covered
In the evening
        my heart vanishes
Or so it seems

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sami Mansei (fl.720)

Living in this world -
to what shall I compare it?
Its like a boat
rowing out at break of day,
leaving no trace behind.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ts'ai-ken T'an (Vegetable Roots Discourse) Hong Zicheng (c. 1590)

Slander and defamation are like bits of cloud that veil the sun. Before long the sky will be bright again. Flattery and fawning are like a chill wind invading through a crack in the wall. One does not sense their harm.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Su Shi (1036-1101)

Cloudburst At Meitang
        Su Shi 1036-1101

At our feet
        a clap of thunder,
Lightening slashes obstinate clouds
        they don't disperse.
Outside dark wind tears at the lake,
From east of Zhejiang rain blasts in
        the river spills over
                like wine from a golden goblet
A thousand tree branches 
        knock together like drums.
One splash of cold water 
        arouses the Banished Immortal
                who brushes sharp shark words 
                        and torrents of jade blossoms.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Li Ching-jau (1084-1151)

Spring In Wu-ling
by Li Ching-jau (Southern Sung Period, 1135 A.D.)

The wind is still,
The earth smells sweet;
The flowers all have fallen here.

As evening comes,
I comb my hair.

His things remain
But he is gone;
So everything's over.

When I try to speak
The tears well up.

I hear that spring's
Still at its height
At Double Creek ...

I think of going to sail
The light skiffs there,
But alas, I fear
The grasshopper-boats
At Double Creek
Could never bear
So great a weight
Of sorrow.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Meng Chiao (751-814)

The thread in the hand of a kind mother
Is the coat on the wanderer's back.
Before he left she stitched it close
In secret fear that he would be slow to return.
Who will say that the inch of grass in his heart
Is gratitude enough for all the sunshine of spring?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Li Ching Chao

As in a Dream

To the melody of "Ru Meng Lin"

Last night in the light rain as rough winds blew,
My drunken sleep left me no merrier.
I question one that raised the curtain, who
Replies: "The wild quince trees -- are as they were."
But no, but no!
Their rose is waning, and their green leaves grow.
Li Ching Chao :

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Ouyang Xiu (1007-1072)

A Painted Boat Carrying Wine (Picking Mulberries)
Ouyang Xiu

A painted boat carrying wine- West Lake is good.
Urgent rhythms and pressing tunes,
A jade cup's imperious summons,
Gently floating on tranquil ripples, appointed Sleeping Drunk.

The moving clouds somehow are under the moving boat.
Empty water's clear and fresh,
Look up, look down, I linger on,
I feel as if here on this lake there is another heaven.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Ho Xuan Huong (1772-1822)

Floating Sweet Dumpling

My body is powdery white and round
I sink and bob like a mountain in a pond
The hand that kneads me is hard and rough
You can't destroy my true red heart
Ho Xuan Huong :