A tree top twig
Beneath the empty sky
I look among
The world’s connected strings
From a lofty view
That's twenty stories high
It’s here I see
The flutters filled with wings
This morning’s hush
As Hudson’s sparkle comes
Around it flows
With autumn’s remnant leaves
The pigeon sky
Above the man with crumbs
As they flock around
And eat his cake like thieves
His hands still move
But nothing now is heard
He made a pledge
With truth that sounds like lie
This wind will weave
The cry of howling thieves
As calming rain
Unfolds on golden grain
A thousand sheaves
A million fallen leaves
And still these plains
Will fill with bamboo canes
Copyright (c) 2016 by Frank Watson. Loosely translated from Lu Shiheng’s “花落.”
This morning the sky imparted its will
On spring, on summer, when all around
Is rain and mist, and darkness still,
Distilled for a moment in the river’s sound.
These years I’ve buried my head in books
Have come and gone with the green dawn air;
Last night I walked by the brimming brooks
And left a song as I passed on there.
Beauty refined in words,
You say, “I know it all,”
And so your mind is blurred—
But if it were, “I am so small,”
The lengths you could be spurred.
You carry coins with scorn,
Enriched like grass in the wind;
But all your jewels have worn
And wasted in fruitless sin,
A beast from the wild born.
Yet true learning dwells inside, well-hidden,
And all is there, with nothing forbidden.
The entire journey was on foot to this place,
Of moss, more moss, and my footstep’s trace.
White clouds about the banks in a quiet state,
The growing grass has covered the fence’s gate.
Passing rain, the pine’s green color in course,
I follow the mountain, to the water’s source.
These river flowers, in a moment’s sensation,
Have brought us to meet in silent meditation.
Original Chinese Poem