I walk the streets to stray around
As horns hang still, surrounding cars
No people pass, no flowers found
The clouds stay dark, the sun stays far
No light, no sound—a man was hung
These buildings block the burning sun
We take in air with dying lungs
Restored to life against the guns
There is no more, it’s all in vain
Without direction known, unknown
A daydream where it’s all the same
The city cries on buried stones
Forgotten landscapes, desert blooms
A people left by littered gates
The moon has shadowed me, like stillborn air
Along a country road, adrift in threads,
Behind a worn out wheel, the pedals bare,
As time leaves nothing here but cast off dead.
I share these words with clouds in wind-washed treads,
Where rock-strewn shores in riddled dreams belie
And time has spun in tight a spider’s web
Of figures etched in deep the dusk-drawn sky.
With this in mind I set aside my clothes,
Now freshly pressed for travels lost, to where
The door is shut and all my business goes—
The sun goes up and soars on to the end
For me to chase somewhere beyond, alone;
Today I’m here to rest and meet a friend,
By dawn I’m off to seek a shore unknown.
It’s been near fifteen years without a rest
And now it seems the noise and crowds increase;
I’ll leave it soon and go perhaps out west,
The burdens gently boxed and left back east.
A western wind is blowing, wild and free,
Across the mountains, streams, and golden plains;
I’ll walk a trail of clouds to where they flee,
Hugging the path in early spring
We walk here hand in hand;
Though grass has yet to spring to life,
To me it’s fresh-laid land.
Nothing to do, pursuing the blooms,
The willows have taught my mind:
Again and again I come and go
To savor a cup of wine.
Original poem in Chinese by Shen Yue