Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom
Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Du Fu (712-770)

Du Fu
Alone in Her Beauty
Who is lovelier than she?
Yet she lives alone in an empty valley.
She tells me she came from a good family
Which is humbled now into the dust.
...When trouble arose in the Kuan district,
Her brothers and close kin were killed.
What use were their high offices,
Not even shielding their own lives? –
The world has but scorn for adversity;
Hope goes out, like the light of a candle.
Her husband, with a vagrant heart,
Seeks a new face like a new piece of jade;
And when morning-glories furl at night
And mandarin-ducks lie side by side,
All he can see is the smile of the new love,
While the old love weeps unheard.
The brook was pure in its mountain source,
But away from the mountain its waters darken.
...Waiting for her maid to come from selling pearls
For straw to cover the roof again,
She picks a few flowers, no longer for her hair,
And lets pine-needles fall through her fingers,
And, forgetting her thin silk sleeve and the cold,
She leans in the sunset by a tall bamboo.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Luo Binwang (619-684)

Ode To The Goose

Goose goose goose
Bend neck towards sky sing
White feather float green water
Red foot push clear wave
Goose, goose, goose,
You bend your neck towards the sky and sing.
Your white feathers float on the emerald water,
Your red feet push the clear waves.
Luo Binwang :

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Chen Ziang (661-702)

Chen ZiangOn a Gate-tower at Yuzhou
Where, before me, are the ages that have gone?
And where, behind me, are the coming generations?
I think of heaven and earth, without limit, without end,
And I am all alone and my tears fall down.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Hsu Yun (1840-1959)

In Praise of Elder Master Gu Ting
Again, I am in the Elder's debt.
Not only have I always filled myself with his treasures
But his visit here tonight has given me a theme for this discourse.

He arrived: A fresh wind blows over an open field.
He arrived: The beautiful sun comes in the morning.
Even golden walls have to respect the wind.

His treasures! He's the very source of Chan!
>From his depths issue fortune and wisdom.
With a wish he evaporates oceans of winter grief
And creates a Spring in all the Ten Directions.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Meng Haoran (691-740)

Spring Dawn
Meng Haoran

I slumbered this spring morning, and missed the dawn,
From everywhere I heard the cry of birds.
That night the sound of wind and rain had come,
Who knows how many petals then had fallen?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Gao Qi (1336-1374)

Looking for Hermit Hu
Gao Qi

I pass over water, and pass over water again,
I look at the flowers, and look at the flowers again.
Travelling the river, there's a spring breeze,
Before I am aware, I reach your home.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Taigu Ryokan (1758-1831)

Wild Roses

Wild roses,
Plucked from fields
Full of croaking frogs:
Float them in your wine
And enjoy every minute!
Taigu Ryokan :

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Li Po (701-762)

Summer Day in the Mountains
Too lazy to wave the white plume fan,
stripped to the waist in the green wood's mist,
I loose my headcloth, hang it on a stony wall,
bare my top knot for pine winds to riffle

Yan Liu (Qing Dynasty)

Summer Day Mountain Hermitage
        Yan Liu  Qing Dynasty 17th-18th century

Mountains calm, pleasantly warm,
Pine winds penetrate cool daydreams.
Fine rain envelops craggy peaks,
Ancient trees muffle cicada's sob.
Learning embroidery my recent routine,
Looking at clouds a world beyond.
If you don't distance the dusty world,
You cannot achieve immortality.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Tao Qian (365-427)

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.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Su Shi (1037-1101)

Written While Drunk in Lake-View Pavilion on the 27th Day of the Sixth Month
Su Shi

The inky clouds fly in, but do not hide the hills,
As random drops of white rain leap into the boats.
A sudden wind arrives and sweeps across the earth,
Below I see the lake a mirror of the sky.

Ouyang Xiu (1007-1072)

After the Fresh Blossoms Have Gone (Picking Mulberries)
Ouyang Xiu

After the fresh blossoms have gone- West Lake is good.
Tattered scraps of remnant red,
Mist of cotton catkins flying,
Weeping willow by the railing in the wind and sun.

Pipes and song scatter and cease, visitors depart.
I start to feel that spring is empty,
Let the curtain fall back down,
A pair of swallows going home through the drizzly rain.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Du Fu (712-770)

This hand planted these peaches, these plums
They are not masterless_ Though the wall
is low, this is my home. just like Springs
wind, that cheat. Thief in the night
he’s torn the blossomed branches down.

Po Chu-i (772-846)

After Lunch
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’.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Du Mu (803-852)


Even in this good reign, how can I serve?
The lone cloud rather, the Buddhist peace....
Once more, before crossing river and sea,
I face the great Emperor's mountain-tomb.

Han Yu (768-824)

A Pond in a Jardiniere
Old men are like little boys:
I draw water, fill the jardiniere to make a tiny pond.
All night green frogs gabble till dawn,
just like the time I went fishing at Fang-k’ou.
My ceramic lake in dawn, water settled clear,
numberless tiny bugs -I don’t know what you call them;
suddenly they dart and scatter, not a shadow left;
only a squadron of baby fish advancing.
Pond shine and sky glow, blue matching blue;
a few bucketfulls of water poured is all that laps these shores.
I`ll wait until the night is cold, the bright moon set,
then count how many stars come swimming here,

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ma Zhiyuan (1260-1364)

Ma Zhiyuan (1260-1364):  Tian Jing Sha (Heavenly Pure Sand) -- Autumn Thoughts

An old tree, dried vines entwined, by ev’ning crows come roosting;
O’er a small bridge, by a running stream, homes of people nestling.
On an old road, in the autumn wind, a scrawny horse keeps trudging
The sun, slanting, to the west, setting ---
Heart-torn, lovelorn, the wanderer, to the verge of the sky a-roaming.

Translated by Andrew W.F. Wong (Huang Hongfa)   譯者黄宏發

Monday, June 15, 2015

Meng Chiao (751-814)

Despise poetry, and you’ll be named to office.
But to love poetry is like clinging to a mountain:
frozen, holding tight, facing death,
days of sorrow followed by sorrow.
The bourgeoisie are jealous of those
who love poetry: they flash teeth like knives.
All the old sages are long since dead,
but bureaucrats still gnaw their bones.
Now I’m frail, dying like a frond.
All my life I sought a noble calm,
a calm I could never achieve.
And the noisy rabble mocked me.

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

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Hsieh Ling-Yun (385-433)

Dwelling in the Mountains #6
Here where I live,
lakes on the left, rivers on the right,
you leave islands, follow shores back
to mountains out front, ridges behind.
Looming east and toppling aside west,
they harbor ebb and flow of breath,
arch across and snake beyond, devious
churning and roiling into distances,
clifftop ridgelines hewn flat and true.

Mei Yao-Ch'en (1002-1060)

Plum Rain
For three days rain did not stop,
earthworms climbed into my hall,
wet mushrooms grew on dry fences,
and damp air brought white mold to clothes.
Frogs in the east pond,
one jumps after another endlessly.
Reeds invade my flower garden,
suddenly as tall as the banister.
No wagon and horse in front of my door.
The moss looks so dark.
Zhaoting Mountain behind the house
is blocked by clouds again
and directionless where can I go?
I just meditate on a bed
in solitude and forget outside concerns,
in a low voice read aloud the Daoist canon.1
My wife laughs at my leisure,
“Why not raise a cup to yourself? ”
She is better than the wife of Bolun.2
She stays by my side when I am drunk.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Du Fu (712-770)

Moonlit Night
Du Fu

The moon shines in Fuzhou tonight,
In her chamber, she watches alone.
I pity my distant boy and girl-
They don't know why she thinks of Chang'an.
Her cloud-like hair is sweet with mist,
Her jade arms cold in the clear moonlight.
When shall we lean in the empty window,
Together in brightness, and tears dried up?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Tao Te Ching (6 cent.BC)

Chapter 3
Do not glorify the achievers
So the people will not squabble
Do not treasure goods that are hard to obtain
So the people will not become thieves
Do not show the desired things
So their hearts will not be confused
Thus the governance of the sage:
Empties their hearts
Fills their bellies
Weakens their ambitions
Strengthens their bones
Let the people have no cunning and no greed
So those who scheme will not dare to meddle
Act without contrivance
And nothing will be beyond control

Li Po (701-762)

The Solitude Of Night

It was at a wine party—
I lay in a drowse, knowing it not.
The blown flowers fell and filled my lap.
When I arose, still drunken,
The birds had all gone to their nests,
And there remained but few of my comrades.
I went along the river—alone in the moonlight.

Li Po :

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wei Ying-wu (737-792)

Planting Melons

When I follow my nature I’m rash
too careless to earn a living
this year I tried planting melons
in a garden that was mostly weeds
The plants all shared the rain and dew
but mine ended up in the shade
and once spring work got busy
the time for hoeing was past
the farmers laughed at my useless efforts
from dawn to dusk resulting in nothing
clearly this isn’t my kind of work
I’ll stick with ancient texts instead.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

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 :

Monday, June 8, 2015

Tao Qian (365-427)

To get out of this and go back home!
My fields and garden will be overgrown with weeds--I must go back.
It was my own doing that made my mind my body's slave
Why should I go on in melancholy and lonely grief?
I realize that there's no remedying the past
But I know that there's hope in the future.
After all I have not gone far on the wrong road
And I am aware that what I do today is right, yesterday wrong.
My boat rocks in the gentle breeze
Flap, flap, the wind blows my gown;
I ask a passer-by about the road ahead,
Grudging the dimness of the light at dawn.
Then I catch sight of my cottage--
Filled with joy I run.
The servant boy comes to welcome me
My little son waits at the door.
The three paths are almost obliterated
But pines and chrysanthemums are still here.
Leading the children by the hand I enter my house
Where there is a bottle filled with wine.
I draw the bottle to me and pour myself a cup;
Seeing the trees in the courtyard brings joy to my face.
I lean on the south window and let my pride expand,
I consider how easy it is to be content with a little space.
Every day I stroll in the garden for pleasure,
There is a gate there, but it is always shut.
Cane in hand I walk and rest
Occasionally raising my head to gaze into the distance.
The clouds aimlessly rise from the peaks,
The birds, weary of flying, know it is time to come home.
As the sun's rays grow dim and disappear from view

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Wang Wei (699-759)


I have sailed the River of Yellow Flowers,
Borne by the channel of a green stream,
Rounding ten thousand turns through the mountains
On a journey of less than thirty miles....
Rapids hum over heaped rocks;
But where light grows dim in the thick pines,
The surface of an inlet sways with nut-horns
And weeds are lush along the banks.
...Down in my heart I have always been as pure
As this limpid water is....
Oh, to remain on a broad flat rock
And to cast a fishing-line forever!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Lu Lun (748-800?)

Lu Lun (748-800?):  Border Song II of Six

 Windswept, the dim grove of cattails shook so;
‘Twas dark, the general still arched his bow.
 Next dawn, for its hoary feathers they looked,
 Sunk deep in a stone cleft was found his arrow.

Li T'ai-Po (701-762)



HOW dim the battle-field, as yellow dusk!
The fighting men are like a swarm of ants.
The air is thick, the sun a red wheel.
Blood dyes the wild chrysanthemums purple.
Vultures hold the flesh of men in their mouths,
They are heavy with food – they cannot rise to fly.
There were men yesterday on the city wall;
There are ghosts to-day below the city wall.
Colours of flags like a net of stars,
Rolling of horse-carried drums – not yet is the killing ended.
From the house of the Unworthy One – a husband, sons,
All within earshot of the rolling horse-drums.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Tao Yuanming (365-427)

In early weeds and woodlands teem;
The trees about my house with green increase;
The birds are pleased to find a place of rest,
And we like them enjoy my home in peace.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Chang Jian (8th cent)

Chang JianAt Wang Changlin' S Retreat
Here, beside a clear deep lake,
You live accompanied by clouds;
Or soft through the pine the moon arrives
To be your own pure-hearted friend.
You rest under thatch in the shadow of your flowers,
Your dewy herbs flourish in their bed of moss.
Let me leave the world. Let me alight, like you,
On your western mountain with phoenixes and cranes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Meng Chiao (751-814)

Triple Gorge one thread of heaven over
ten thousand cascading thongs of water,
slivers of sun and moon sheering away
above, and wild swells walled-in below,
splintered spirits glisten, a few glints
frozen how many hundred years in dark
gorges midday light never finds, gorges
hungry froth fills with peril. Rotting
coffins locked into tree roots, isolate
bones twist and sway, dangling free,
and grieving frost roosts in branches,
keeping lament's dark, distant harmony
fresh. Exile, tattered heart all scattered
away, you'll simmer in seething flame
here, your life like fine-spun thread,
its road a trace of string traveled away.
Offer tears to mourn the water-ghosts,
and water-ghosts take them, glimmering.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I Ching (Hexegram 13) Community - water over fire


Thung Zăn (or 'Union of men') appears here (as we find it) in the (remote districts of the) country, indicating progress and success. It will be advantageous to cross the great stream. It will be advantageous to maintain the firm correctness of the superior man.
1. The first NINE, undivided, (shows the representative of) the union of men just issuing from his gate. There will be no error.
2. The second SIX, divided, (shows the representative of) the union of men in relation with his kindred. There will be occasion for regret.
3. The third NINE, undivided, (shows its subject) with his arms hidden in the thick grass, and at the top of a high mound. (But) for three years he makes no demonstration.
4. The fourth NINE, undivided, (shows its subject) mounted on the city wall; but he does not proceed to make the attack (he contemplates). There will be good fortune.
5. In the fifth NINE, undivided, (the representative of) the union of men first wails and cries out, and then laughs. His great host conquers, and he (and the subject of the second line) meet together.
6. The topmost NINE, undivided, (shows the representative
p. 87
of) the union of men in the suburbs. There will be no occasion for repentance.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Yang Wanli (1127-1206)

At Dawn, See Off Lin Zifang At Pure Benevolence Temple

Now it comes, mid June on West Lake,
Four seasons, the vista ever unique.
Lotus leaves to the horizon, boundless green,
Sun glow on lotus buds, peerless red.
Yang Wanli :