Monday, June 23, 2014

Poem by Chian chen tzu

Ten years living and dead have drawn apart
I do nothing to remember
But I cannot forget
Your lonely grave a thousand miles away …
Nowhere can I talk of my sorrow --
Even if we met, how would you know me
My face full of dust
My hair like snow?

In the dark of night, a dream:  suddenly, I am home
You by the window
Doing your hair
I look at you and cannot speak
Your face is streaked by endless tears
Year after year must they break my heart
These moonlit nights?
That low pine grave?

NOTE:  My father could have written this about my mother who died at age 50 and left my father to grieve until he died at 89.  Sculpture can be found in Les Tuileries, Paris, Ile de France, France. 

Reading by Yuan Mei (1716-1798)

When I shut a book,
I can be at ease.

If I open one, I agonize.
Books are long, and days are short,
feeling like an ant
who wants to move a mountain,
or a man who waits for dawn light
with a candle in his hand.

Often I read, I might remember one.
The more's the pain,
that in a thousand years
there'll be more books, no end.

So if I wish I were a spirit-being,
or pray Heaven for a few more years….
it's not that I want to dine on dew,
or wander fairylands…
every word that's written
to read each one, that's all.

Poem by Li Bai (Li Po, Li Tai-Po)

The breeze and the dew make tranquil the clear dawn;
Behind the curtain there is one who alone is up betimes.
The orioles sign and the flowers smile --
Whose then, after all, is the Spring?

Poem by Li Bai Li Po or Li Tai-Po)

You ask me why I dwell in the green mountain;
I smile and make no reply for my heart is free of care.
As the peach-blossom flows down stream and is gone into the unknown,
I have a world apart that is not among men.  

Poem by Su Shi (Su Dongpo)

To what can our life on earth be likened?
To a flock of geese,
alighting on the snow.
Sometimes leaving a trace of their passage.

NOTE: This is a good ego check.  Puts us in perspective in the grand scheme of things.