Leaf and flower
Have fallen in the wind
A petal gone
The ocean never ends
The sea mist comes
An unexpected guest
As even now
The gray moon lingers west
What little air
Has blown with pure scent
My father gone
The door from which he went
As dust is dry
It finds its life frontier
But loses track
A line of song unclear
I stop to stare
The dead moon’s life reflection
But quiet now
I walk without direction
This anchored boat’s astir in fog and breeze,
As sunset rends my fears up once again,
But as the sky descends beneath the trees,
The river, moon, and quiet become my friends.
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—
Meandering above the asphalt streets,
The autumn moon lights vendor stalls;
From dawn to dusk the city beats
A song beyond Manhattan’s walls.
Across this land the Rocky Mountains
Conceal the trees and western sand,
But here another day begins,
Anxieties and troubles at hand.
The sky grows gray with tiny mist
That washes the building glass;
But clouds across the plains persist
To drizzle wet the newborn grass.
A clear breeze blows the fog away
To stretch it out like feathered sky;
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