field

Grasses tall enough
to touch a traveler’s sleeve—
a summer field.

Sōchō

rain

Summer rain—
on cloud-covered cliffs,
willow trees!

Sōchō

you see, I want a lot…

You see, I want a lot. Perhaps I want everything:
the darkness that comes with every infinite fall
and the shivering blaze of every step up.

So many live on and want nothing,
and are raised to the rank of prince
by the slippery ease of their light judgments.

But what you love to see are faces
that do work and feel thirst.

You love most of all those who need you
as they need a crowbar or a hoe.

You have not grown old, and it is not too late
to dive into your increasing depths where life calmly gives out its own secret…

Rainer Maria Rilke

cherry

The cherry blossoms
on the mountains aglow
in the morning sun
might be mistaken for snow
that does not deign to melt.

Fujiwara Ariie

drinking

Last night, the wind and rain —
Those autumnal sounds
struck against the curtains and screens.
The candle wept,
the clepsydra dripped
and I leaned against the head-rest.
I rose, but found no peace.

All mundane affairs
should be thrown into the river.
Life is just a nightmare.
The only safe path is down into the cellar.
Any other route is not worth the fare.

Li Yü

new year

Wind returns to this small court
as lichens turn green.
Her eyes and the willow leaves
make a sequence in spring.
Leaning against the balustrade
she remains long in silence.
The new moon and the crackers
are tediously the same as in the past.

The feast and the music have not yet ceased.
In the pond, ice is beginning to melt.
In the bright candlelight and the faint scent,
and deeply hidden in this painted room,
My temples, overladen with thoughts,
are white like frost.

Li Yü

poem of my heart

VI

Sitting in an empty hall
I enjoy no one’s company.
Going out to the endless road
I see no chariot or horse.
Climbing up a hill
I look at places far away.
A solitary bird hovers
And a stray beast wanders.
The setting sun reminds me of relatives and
friends.
How I have longed to talk to them!

Juan Chi