Wine of Autumn Nights


51

with sparkling glasses that shine
i drink the moon light
through eyes like candlelight

who cares for darkness?
not the mountain or sky or i
the stars retire me to my bed
knowing my time to live, or die

i might find happiness
impossible awake, so easily
in my dreams, lying drunk

with spiritual jokes
on the shore of my last years
spring dreams flood my
lucid revealing storms

so i drink the autumn dew
and horizons merge in the
open-minded reign of blood

that waits in the bamboo lodge
for eternity to whistle
in the heart’s bright-moon content
in front of my window

the plum tree has it blossomed yet?
Did you see? these morning
showers are as a mountain stream

good omens to refresh all colors
I’ll see old friends beyond the Pass
Can I impose on you, one more glass?

Memories like chinese poems


A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.
~ Lao Tzu

50

homesick for something
I cannot name, for home
beyond all other homes?
I am alone in a foreign land

in love with foreigners
sick of the locals
I do not want to speak
or conform to the customs

of living, sowing, reaping
i search for the Tao
but cannot find it, it evades
my grasp, like the endlessly

awake stars, they do not sleep
for light is bled in rivers
of heaven, like poems
mild-mannered echoing down

the centuries, poorly translated
by tongues who no longer speak
with the ancients, the ragged fringe
to be a rare fellow lost among

the songs, i hear music on the lips
of the clouds, that do not dream
but draw, day after day
to bid each other a sad farewell

as neighbors, as friends, as heart-broken
children that have no place
but the wiping of eyes
the lingers at the fork in the road.

WHEN WILL I be able to RETURN?


2

After the long escort, now we part
What mixes all the days together
Gifted us this human world of togetherness
Green mountains: sweet fragrance
In each region, you are eulogised and cherished
Divinity happy in the heart, in a world
Of water and crystal and tranquil space
Nature walked with me, I was never alone
Golden orioles flit across the beams
Walking by flowers that smile like poems
Bright cotton floats in the air, like summer-snow
By the river’s talents at dawn’s friendship
I face a mural of living grace, breathing pockets
Of the splendid incense of shinning water
Yellow and red dirt seems right at place there
Paths and trails, rosy dawns of new lives
How can I be upset to grasp what’s hot?
Summer, spring and autumn mix in me
Myriad blossoms press the branches low
How I admire the river’s blue, the bird a perfect white.

JADE FLOWER BUDDHA


89

In the dynasty of our impoverished love
Like master and servant, I to you
Couldn’t serve, so I depart as a
Luminous white horse, across the fields

In the deep firm breath of
The dreams that I hold dear, you do not
I carry the Eastern skies
In my bosom, galloping with bhaki-trance

Nomadic, not understanding distinctions
Of class, and wealth and human hierarchy
I enter then, the Summer Palace
Of the downtrodden, where peasants

Survive to sleep on staw and spirit
With but one meal a day, and time
To conquer my own vain fears
In the unaccompanied court of my woe

The Jade flowers will not fall
No banner will be attached to my name
No sons or daughters to call me ‘father’
I would hurry to hold a better future

But I cannot, I am sick with summer dread
Till the Queen of the Stars leans down to me
And whispers the next step in my destiny
In spite of great failure, she makes me happy.

Photo Courtesy: http://www.deviantart.com/art/falling-and-over-again-118869527

Poetry

ALWAYS SOMEONE’S GUEST


81

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.

Photo Courtesy: http://www.deviantart.com/art/–463238071

BROODING UPON THE RAIN-SOAKED BELL


80

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?

CHINESE PSALM


80

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.

Poetry

LISTENING TO SONGS OF NEW WORDS


Poetry

75

I

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

II

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

III

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.

MAGNOLIA HERMITAGE


Poetry

74

I

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

II

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

III

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

IV

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?

REMEMBERING YOUR BEAUTIFUL SOFT HANDS


72

I

At the Garden of life
We had an accidental encounter
We improvised with spirits of poetry
To find each other ready for love
With Spring we changed into each other
Won! Won! Won!
Right! Right! Right!

II

Like the affirmation of Peach blossoms
The hard-hearted people could not understand
How we met in the garden, or
Faced the morning wind, together
For a time, but shunning questions
We lived fully until we parted ways
For new gardens, new flowers and the same wind

III

One only realizes everything ends
In prosperity, before death, for that is when
We best recollect all our friends and lovers
I who cannot regret the heartland or family sacrifice
Spring is the same old, in other hands and smiles.

Poetry


31

34

i

Enter high summer, longest day!
This higher summer we love will
Pour its liquid light and make us forget
Light-memory erases dark-fantasy
Straining against our veins
Of sunburnt epiphanies and
Skin-cancer worries, and wrinkles

ii

That climb the wrists of time like Dragons
Night frost that barely is brisk enough
To welcome Autumn’s strange roses
These fields have time to grow rich
Like a vibrant testament to our
Continuation among the weeds

iii

Ready to crash into the parade
You who think I find words for everything
Don’t know how loose I am from words
In the Indian Summer heat
You for whom I write, June Bugs…