Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom
Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Wang Wei (701-761)

Green-Water Stream

To reach the Yellow-Flowered River
Go by the Green-Water Stream.
A thousand twists and turns of mountain
But the way there can’t be many miles.
The sound of water falling over rocks
And deep colour among pines.
Gently green floating water-plants.
Bright the mirrored reeds and rushes.
I am a lover of true quietness.  
Watching the flow of clear water
I dream of sitting on the uncarved rock
casting a line on the endless stream.

Note: The uncarved rock is the Tao. The endless stream is the Tao.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Li Deyu (787-849)

Climbing Yazhou Town Wall
*****Li Deyu

Alone in tower I face Changan,
For birds it's a half year journey.
Green mountains don't let me leave,
No way to escape this coiling city wall.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Lao Tzu (604BC-531BC)

The Way   - cannot be told.
                  TheName - cannot be named.
                  The nameless is the Way of Heaven and Earth.
                  The named is Matrix of the Myriad Creatures.
                  Eliminate desire to find the Way.
                  Embrace desire to know the Creature.
                                      The Tao Te Ching  I

Friday, December 19, 2014

Du Fu (712-770)

Thinking of Li Bai at the End of the Sky
Du Fu

Cold wind rises at the end of the sky,
What thoughts occupy the gentleman's mind?
What time will the wild goose come?
The rivers and lakes are full of autumn's waters.
Literature and worldly success are opposed,
Demons exult in human failure.
Talk together with the hated poet,
Throw a poem into Miluo river.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wumen (1183-1260)

The great way has no gate;
There are a thousand paths to it.
If you pass through the barrier
You walk the univcrse alone.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Su Tung-po (1037-1101)

On the birth of his son

Families, when a child is born
Want it to be intelligent.
I, through intelligence,
Having wrecked my whole life,
Only hope the baby will prove
Ignorant and stupid.
Then he will crown a tranquil life
By becoming a Cabinet Minister.
Su Tung-po :

Yang Wanli (1127-1206)

Listening to the Rain

A year ago my boat, homeward bound,
moored at Yen-ling-
I was kept awake all night by the rain
beating against the sails
Last night the rain fell on the thatched roof
of my house.
I dreamed of che sound of rain
beating against the sails.
Yang Wanli :

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)

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

—  Ikkyu Sojun

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Li Po (701-762)

Chuang Tzu And The Butterfly

Chuang Tzu in dream became a butterfly,
And the butterfly became Chuang Tzu at waking.
Which was the real—the butterfly or the man ?
Who can tell the end of the endless changes of things?
The water that flows into the depth of the distant sea
Returns anon to the shallows of a transparent stream.
The man, raising melons outside the green gate of the city,
Was once the Prince of the East Hill.
So must rank and riches vanish.
You know it, still you toil and toil,—what for?
Li Po :

Friday, December 12, 2014

Tao Qian (325-467)

Returning to Live in the South
Tao Qian

When young, I'd not enjoyed the common pleasures,
My nature's basic love was for the hills.
Mistakenly I fell into the worldly net,
And thus remained for thirteen years.
A bird once caged must yearn for its old forest,
A fish in a pond will long to return to the lake.
So now I want to head to southern lands,
Returning to my fields and orchards there.
About ten acres of land is all I have,
Just eight or nine rooms there in my thatched hut.
There's shade from elms and willows behind the eaves,
Before the hall are gathered peaches and plums.
Beyond the dark and distance lies a village,
The smoke above reluctant to depart.
A dog is barking somewhere down the lane,
And chickens sit atop the mulberry tree.
The mundane world has no place in my home,
My modest rooms are for the most part vacant.
At last I feel released from my confinement,
I set myself to rights again.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Yang Wan-li (1127-1206)

Cold Sparrows
Hundreds of cold sparrows dive into the empty courtyard,
cluster on plum branches and speak of sun after rain at dusk.
They choose to gather en masse and kill me with noise.
Suddenly startled, they disperse. Then, soundlessness.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Han Yu (768-824)

Light Rain Early in Spring
Han Yu

In light rain, Heaven Street is moist like butter,
The grass is green from afar, but not nearby.
The spring is best this time every year,
The mist of willow blossom fills the capital.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bai Juyi (772-846)

My heritage lost through disorder and famine,
My brothers and sisters flung eastward and westward,
My fields and gardens wrecked by the war,
My own flesh and blood become scum of the street,
I moan to my shadow like a lone-wandering wildgoose,
I am torn from my root like a water-plant in autumn:
I gaze at the moon, and my tears run down
For hearts, in five places, all sick with one wish.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Yosa Buson (1716-1784)

Rape blossoms
Moon in the east
Sun in the west
– Buson

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828)

mountain temple
by Kobayashi Issa

English version by David G. Lanoue
Original Language Japanese

mountain temple--
deep under snow
a bell

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Liu Zongyuans (773-819)

River Snow

A thousand mountains. Flying birds vanish.
Ten thousand paths. Human traces erased.
One boat, bamboo hat, bark cape-an old man.
Alone with his hook. Cold river. Snow.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Ryosen (c. 1840)

The Monk Ryosen

In my loneliness
I leave my little hut.
When I look around,
Everywhere it is the same:
One lone, darkening autumn eve.

Tuesday, December 2, 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.