Bitter Love

Bitter Love

 
Li Bai (701-762)
 
 
The beauty sits behind a jeweled screen,
Lamenting him with lovely, furled brows.
When all I see are cheeks stained wet with tears,
I wonder, where’s the one who broke his vows?
 
 

Kokinshu 1009 - "Hatsuse River"

1009

 
Hatsuse River—
Where ancient waters flow
Beside the two-trunk tree
 
When years have passed
I hope we’ll meet again
Beside the two-trunk tree
 
はつせ河
ふるかはのべに
ふたもとあるすぎ
年をへて
又もあひ見む
ふたもとあるすぎ
Haru sareba
Nobe ni mazu saku
Miredo akanu hana
Mainashi ni
Tada nanoru beki

Kokinshu 1008 - "When Spring Arrives"

1008

 
When spring arrives
And fields begin to bloom
If you see a flower
That’s just a sprout
Mere whispers are best
Until it’s out
 
 
春されば
のべにまづさく
見れどあかぬ花
まひなしに
ただなのるべき
花のななれや
Haru sareba
Nobe ni mazu saku
Miredo akanu hana
Mainashi ni
Tada nanoru beki

Kokinshu 1007 - "Slipping Away"

1007

 
Slipping away,
The one I love—
As I am broken.
 
What’s the flower
That bloomed in white
When we were one?
 
うちわたす
をち方人に
物まうすわれ
そのそこに
しろくさけるは
なにの花ぞも
Uchiwatasu
Ochikatabito ni
Mono mousu  ware
Sono soko ni
Shiroku sakeru wa

Center of My Soul

Center of my soul
Joined in the union of desire
Lost in the kiss, unwound in all directions
I revel in your loneliness
I revel in your missed road signs
Along the map we cannot read together
It is sweet, this darkness
That draws us together, slowly
Breaking apart into the abyss

Fresh Wood (for Luo Xue)

Fresh Wood (for Luo Xue)

Wen Tianxiang (1236-1283)
 
 
A sigh, sigh sound from woods up high to low;
We close the gate and cover up with fur—
Spring feelings flow along the mountain gorge;
At dawn I rise to touch and look at her.
 
 
Chinese
 
贈羅雪崖樵青
文天祥
 
蕭蕭山下人
閉門衣裘單
春心動溪谷
曉起捫松看
Pronunciation
 

Songs of a New Morning

from the shore
where I can see it all
as it floats away
 
to some other land
where the sun continues to shine
for centuries
 
and treetops
sway in the wind
filling the grass
with wandering pollen
 
          *
 
worn out
like a flag flown
for many years
 
          *
 
alone here
where your lips once
had left a mark
 
          *
 
once
I looked up
at the stones
and there opened a path
 
into the night
lit by torchlight

As We Travel There Alone

The friends we had, the friends we left
Along the siren streets
A signal past, a thousand thefts
In red light, white light beats
 
Oh, where can I rest in this hidden town
As wind comes whistling through
In light and dark, as it rains down,
A dancer flails there too
 
Somewhere she dwells, the chastised nun,
A remnant work of whim
Perhaps it’s one or maybe none
She waits and waits for him
 
The courtyard halls where beauty haunts
In bellows of burial bells
At night it sleeps its lot of want

Morning Sun

seeds
impregnate the earth
 
whispering and loving its children
grown among the wandering souls
 
each morning in spring
where it is quiet
 
where we sit in silence
to behold the morning sun

Hudson River

For thousands of years
   The Hudson River’s flowed
Today I see
   A pleasure boat stowed
September day
   With net-like, wet-washed gray
I think of her
   A thousand miles away

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