It is no surprise, the mouth of suffering
Cannot compare to the Bending River
The embroidery of nature renews all ill-sentiments
The waters refresh where once we tasted poisons

Dew chills the lotus pod of our youth
Mornings taint our flesh with anticipation
The pearly curtains of new days give us a hush
Now I lie by this cold river of forgiveness

Waves toss the wild rice seeds, but my eyes rise
To the colors of immortal companions
Favorite ideas, cherished ideals, precious values
My colored brush may have captured images

But the spirit of time bitterly hangs low
In gold and silver branches of green bronze
The moon comes out, and life is slippery as rain
That which gives it its support must be the High’s skill

It is no surprise, the fragrant leaves of yearnings returns
While even reclusive hermits like me, feel it
Long rains and harsh winds have not harmed the land
On the contrary, red flowers from the shown green
Will be someone’s guest tonight, a hundred years from now.

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She brings a broom at dawn to my heart
For peach-petals open and blooming
After the moon shone from a palace beyond time
Dust fills my spirit’s halls from end to end
And, for all her jade-whiteness
My devotion cannot tell the Court of the Bright Sun

How I have been cleansed or have grown
The Yin Mountains are my cold resting place
The Moon goes back to the time of beginnings
Written to music, spoken to Spring
She brings a broom at sunsets to my soul
Placing a spark at the Pavilion of long twilight

I am about to linger awhile, and perhaps forever
As I think of my voyage through a thousand miles
Lovers have suffered since ancient times
The sorrows of parting, so how can I complain
I am not special, we are all capable
Of a thousand varieties of tender emotion
To Whom shall I impart them now?



Jade dew withers in Autumn’s husks
The wounds of the groves of maple Trees are open
On Du Fu Mountain, in Li Bai gorge
Undertaking a mission, for leaves to fall

The river surges with waves to kiss the sky
The quiet morning light bleeds for hidden pillows
Reed flowers shine with eyebrows of memorials
The schoolmates of my early years

Do not remember me, I am my own new master
A lonely boat, a single line, my heart is full of home
With the dully and dreary chill of another year
The sun slants across evening, beating the shores

It matters not if my wishes are realized or not
Like shifting clouds, our destinies are varied
Pale Autumn still has an imperial aura
Now the little Lotus Park is filled with borrowed sorrows

Bathed in a sun of dragon scales, I hold court
With the palace open, the purple vapour of my soul
I have lived many lives in the Autumn air
Women always greet me with green feathers at Spring
And my poet’s head hangs low grown Emerald old.




Desolation dreamed, of a less Golden cage
So my heart to rocking
Like a song in a boat
On a rainy day, without fish
To every face, I say farewell
Which of my possession do I propose to leave?

My jeweled faith or my
Unfaithful friends, desolation holds
This feigning to be asleep
When wide awake is all the loneliness
I shall ever achieve, I must leave

The fast-reddening sun to her own stride
Drops, against the open sky loom
Larger in the heart of this weary traveler
Home to a wordless hush of memories
I must speak in silent words to myself

Desolation dreamed, of freedom in a Sonnet
Somebody long ago, must have lost poetry
To insanity, dust which here and there
Floats in a short dazzling beam
Ready to give in to intangible dreams

So my heart to hoping in all directions
Like a song curving and delicate
Must stop, for all music ends
There is something to be learned, I guess
From looking at the starts for many years.



Unity, that is the success I seek
That I may rise from the dust
With cheek sun-burnt and with a smile
For a better new world

Yearning for Paradise
With Bhakti, more than mastery
Unity, of heart and mind
Of people and divine

My one song of blessed feet
All Saints, mystics, prophets
Died not in vain, all forgotten idols
This is the idol of Wuji’s worship

Unity, of East and West’s traditions
At the margin of streams, Sufi and Yogic
Cup-bearing linguistic poise
With Mandarin and English lips

Happy-starred with Sanskrit Rishi-omens
Unity, a mind inclined to song
For Radha’s need, to spend time with Krishna
For sweet tributes at thy feet
For God favors the soul’s good company.



Let the beauty of what you love
Be what you do, that is the important thing
To follow your bliss: this is love

To fly towards the secret sky of no tomorrow
Everyone has been made
To experience some particular joy

So let your joy be ravishing and complete
Do not let fate intervene with it
Do not let destiny lead you from it

For that sacred joy, is your birthright
Everything is made beautiful by that joy
Plant the anticipation of that joy

Like a love of the holy ones within your spirit
Don’t give your heart to anything
But the love of those whose hearts feed that joy

That which is false will negate it
But the truth of your joy will bring
You a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground
A thousand ways to go home again.



Too young to have learned what sorrows means
The youth embraces it too tightly
Like children afraid of the night
They learn to play in the darkness

At the Hibiscus Inn, after the summer
Of flowers, maybe then
One-hearted as ice in a crystal vase
You will grow up into someone

That embraces all the good and bad
You heart may continue as a
Sheet of ice in a jade vase
But that is your story to tell

In the level dawn, all alone, you
Will be starting for the mountains
While the cold night rain hides the river
It is your fate to be so stubborn

But antiquity is now a yellow dust
As we watch against the sunset on the plains
Too young to have learned what heartbreak is
You imagine the world has hurt you indeed.






Leaning alone in the closed bamboos
Time does not stop, but almost
The lute I once played is broken
But the bright moon contends with me
Full moon and winter plum tree
Talking and laughing together
I know within my heart
Where my path leads, to the source
Of the steam, past the South Mountain


I am immersed in the Tao
Yet nothing seems to matter anymore
We forget to go home at these times
I think of you, waiting to die
Even the sun shines cold and white
All your old friends have bought you gifts
But I could not think of anything
For wildflowers will soon flourish


In the shade of the East Willows
I will make a solitary mountain temple
And rest there at the place where
The sun-ribbon river starts
There I will make pearled dew, bent bow moon
Discarding the Book of Change
There, I will let go of all history.





The morning sun has already risen
Thirty feet high, and I am too late
Too late for Golden Noons, one after another
Youth has fled, like old incense
Nauseated by the wine of this Earth
I hear too dimly the music of men


Their concerns do not concern me
The lilac tongue of women seeking after
Some stain of wealth or easy stability
I wish I would have mated with an embroidered laugh
Who wears scarlet in the deep goblets of dew-filled Spring
Ready for the jokes of her foolish lover


The morning’s light and slant is nearly done
Flower beds still quiver, the grass between my toes
Seems to chew the wind flowing by
Flying birds still seem to chase their mates
But the blue sky breaking clear calls me:
Tonight I am older and the evening mists


Have nowhere to gather, so I ask myself:
How long can one man’s lifetime last?
If but fed on darkness and sunsets
Cycles of the formless vast?