Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom
Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tu 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.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Third Ch'an Patriarch Chien-chih Seng-ts'an

Hsin Hsin Ming
Inscribed on the Believing Mind

The Great Way is not difficult
for those who have no preferences.
When love and hate are both absent
everything becomes clear and undisguised.
Make the smallest distinction, however,
and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.
If you wish to see the truth
then hold no opinions for or against anything.
To set up what you like against what you dislike
is the disease of the mind.
When the deep meaning of things is not understood
the mind's essential peace is disturbed to no avail.
The Way is perfect like vast space
where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess.
Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject
that we do not see the true nature of things.
Live neither in the entanglements of outer things,
nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
Be serene in the oneness of things
and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves.
When you try to stop activity to achieve passivity
your very effort fills you with activity.
As long as you remain in one extreme or the other
you will never know Oneness.
Those who do not live in the single Way
fail in both activity and passivity,
assertion and denial.
To deny the reality of things
is to miss their reality;
to assert the emptiness of things
is to miss their reality.
The more you talk and think about it,
the further astray you wander from the truth.
Stop talking and thinking,
and there is nothing you will not be able to know.
To return to the root is to find the meaning,
but to pursue appearances is to miss the source.
At the moment of inner enlightenment
there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness.
The changes that appear to occur in the empty world
we call real only because of our ignorance.
Do not search for the truth;
only cease to cherish opinions.

Su Tung-Po (1037-1101)

Shui Lung Yin

Like a flower, but not a flower
No one cares when it falls
And lies discarded at the roadside
But though
Unmoved, I think about
The tangle of wounded tendrils
Lovely eyes full of sleep
About to open,yet
Still in dreams, following the wind ten thousand miles
In search of love
Startled, time and again, by the oriole's cry

Do not pity the flower that flies off
Grieve for the western garden
Its fallen red already beyond mending --
Now, after morning rain
What's left?
A pond full of broken duckweed
If the three parts of spring
Two turn to dust
One to flowing water
Look --
These are not catkins
But drop after drop of parted lover's tears
Su Tung-po :

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)

My Hovel

The world before my eyes is wan and wasted, just like me.
The earth is decrepit, the sky stormy, all the grass withered.
No spring breeze even at this late date,
Just winter clouds swallowing up my tiny reed hut.
Ikkyu Sojun :

Yang Wan-Li (1127-1206)

Rising Early

Chrysanthemums in bloom-as gaunt as ever;
peonies, leaves falling off; seem completely withered.
A locust, frozen nearly to death,
clings desperately to a cold branch.
Yang Wanli :

Yang Wan Li (1127-1206)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Ho Xuan Huong (772-822)

Three-Mountain Pass

A cliff face. Another. And still a third.
Who was so skilled to carve this craggy scene:

the cavern's red door, the ridge's narrow cleft,
the black knoll bearded with little mosses?

A twisting pine bough plunges in the wind,
showering a willow's leaves with glistening drops.

Gentlemen, lords, who could refuse, though weary
and shaky in his knees, to mount once more?
Ho Xuan Huong :

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 :

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Wang Wei (699-761)

Temple Tree Path
Wang Wei

A narrow, sunless path to the temple tree,
Deep and dark; abundant green moss.
Wait by the gate when finished sweeping the yard,
In case a monk should come down from the hill.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Li Qingzhao (1084-1156)

Autumn Love

Search. Search. Seek. Seek.
Cold. Cold. Clear. Clear.
Sorrow. Sorrow. Pain. Pain.
Hot flashes. Sudden chills.
Stabbing pains. Slow agonies.
I can find no peace.
I drink two cups, then three bowls,
Of clear wine until I can’t
Stand up against a gust of wind.
Wild geese fly over head.
They wrench my heart.
They were our friends in the old days.
Gold chrysanthemums litter
The ground, pile up, faded, dead.
This season I could not bear
To pick them. All alone,
Motionless at my window,
I watch the gathering shadows.
Fine rain sifts through the wu-t’ung trees,
And drips, drop by drop, through the dusk.
What can I ever do now?
How can I drive off this word —
Li Ching Chao :

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Li Yu (937-978)

I Climb the Western Tower in Silence (Joy of Meeting)
Li Yu

I climb the western tower in silence, the moon like a sickle.
Clear autumn is locked in the deep courtyard, where a wutong tree stands lonely.
Sorrowful parting has cut, but not severed our ties; my mind is still wild.
Separation is just like a taste in head and heart.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Li Po (701-762)

Autumn River Song

The moon shimmers in green water.
White herons fly through the moonlight.

The young man hears a girl gathering water-chestnuts:
into the night, singing, they paddle home together.

Bai Juyi (772-846)


How Iushly
the grasses grow on the plain!
Year after year,
they wither before flourishing.
No wildfire can
burn them all.
When spring winds blow,
they sprout once more.
Far away, their fragrance
pervades the ancient road;
on a clear day, their green
extends to the ruined wall.
Now it is you whom I must
see off, my dear friend.
How can the Iuxuriant grass
not feel my parting pain!

Po Chu-i (772-846)

Lament for Peony Flowers
I grieve for the red peony flowers by the steps.
By this evening two branches have withered.
Tomorrow morning wind will blow away the rest.
At night I keep sad watch, hold flame over the dying red.