After Lu Ji (261-303)

November 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

Goodbye, eternity!

There is no way back;

we go and never return.

Death lies up ahead

and birth behind;

further and further away

and more so.

No road, no friendly sign;

just the leaves falling on the patio,

the bitter weeds on the graves

turning bitterer still.

   – Rua Breathnach –

After Wang Wei (701-761)

October 27, 2010 § 1 Comment

Autumn on the lake

The water is pensive as a sky of iron.

In among the bamboo shoots,

the babble of washerwomen rises

and gently spirals across the lake.

The water does not stir;

the willows hang in silent contemplation.


The Great Wall

October 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

After LU YU (1125-1210)

With great suffering and hardship, the Great Wall is erected.

It seems to tower above the Moon, beyond the Milky Way.

But if the bones of the dead were gathered,

they too would tell their story.

If the bones of the dead were gathered,

then it would meet its rival.


A Future Wish

October 11, 2010 § 1 Comment

After SU TONG-PO (1036-1101)                                                                   

We all desire an intelligent son;

nevertheless, intelligence has brought me failure.

And so I would like a feeble-minded one;

that way  he can become a minister.

Always look at the dark side of the Moon

September 29, 2010 § 1 Comment

After LU CHI (261-303)

Man lives only a moment;

the Moon is forever renewed.

What can we do to capture life´s enigmatic plenitude?

Good and bad operate at cross purposes;

the Moon is forever resolved;

and after a hundred years who of us will be around?

It is sad to see the rivers slip away;

the present time escape us, always one step ahead.

The Moon is full again.

We say the wisdom of the Ancients was all-encompassing.

And yet, whose soul is moved today?

The Moon looks on ironically.

Granted, it is difficult to pin down what merit consists of;

each new endeavour riddled with mistakes,

but how else can we assess that which outlives us?

Either that, or nothing whatever survives.

The Moon is grinning like a cat.

Racked with doubt the sage sighs –

What else can he do but sigh deeply?

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