A blue cat and a red bird seem to be communicating with each other

Dreamland

Sitting in my own little corner, I watch dust motes drifting in the sunlight, random leaves swirling in midair, heaps of discard filling the wastebaskets, and pristine little pebbles resting on the riverbed …

I reflect on every path that leads to the mind’s home.

It is a path that leads nowhere. One arrives at every step. This desert scrubland is as perfect as that childhood dreamland – there is no need to rush elsewhere.

~ Thoughts extended from a Chinese couplet originated in the Ming dynasty –

閒看庭前花開花落 靜觀天邊雲捲雲舒

If to translate literally, it would be –

Sitting in my front yard, I watch flowers unfold or fall

clouds gather or fleet …

Beauty

Spring flowers and autumn moon, when will such sentiments cease to boom?

All memories of the past, how could I escape

To my little loft last night, the easterly wind blew again

I couldn’t bear to think of the homeland

In such lucent moonlight


The fine mansions are there still

Only the fair faces must have wilted

How much sorrow could you conceal?

Must be as much as the river of spring

Rolling eastward never-ending

~ Translated by Dot, from Li Yu’s “The Royal Beauty,” written in the Tang dynasty

春花秋月何時了 往事知多少 小樓昨夜又東風 故國不堪回首 月明中  

雕欄玉砌應猶在 只是朱颜改 問君能有幾多愁 恰似一江春水 向東流

~ 李煜 (唐代) <<虞美人>>

Bird Chirps At Night

Up the west tower I go, in silence alone

Latching onto a phoenix tree in the courtyard, a half moon shaped like a sickle

And the autumn, a lockup on its own


A tangled thread, an unsortable mess

This parting sorrow, quite unusual

Has a mind of its own, lingering on

~ Translated by Dot, from Li Yu’s “Autumn Sentiments,” written in the Tang dynasty

(Li Yu was the last Emperor of the Tang dynasty, also a great poet.)

無言獨上西樓 月如鉤 寂寞梧桐深院 鎖清秋     

剪不斷 理還亂 是離愁 別是一般滋味 在心頭

~ 李煜 (唐朝最後一位皇帝) <<鳥夜啼 秋懷>>

In The Woods

Not a soul is seen on the empty mountain

Yet voices are heard round about

Sunset light returns to the woods

Slanting again on the moss

~ Translated by Dot, from Wang Wei’s “The Deer Range,” written in the Tang dynasty

空山不見人 但聞人語響 返景入深林 復照青苔上

~ 王維 (唐代) <<鹿柴>>

Close To Heaven

Spending the night at the Summit Temple

Reaching up for the stars on my arms’ level

Speaking in a low voice

Trying not to disturb those in heaven

~ Translated by Dot, from Li Bai’s “At the Summit Temple,” written in the Tang dynasty

夜宿峰顶寺
舉手捫星辰
不敢高聲語
恐驚天上人

~ 李白 (唐代) <<夜宿山寺>>

By The River

Growing on the rim, grasses meditate in the dim

Offering solace from trees above, orioles sing in the deep

Late and rapid, spring flood comes with sudden rain

No one taking the ferry, lonely boat shifts along the riverbank

~ Translated by Dot, from Wei Yingwu’s “By the River to the West of Town,” written in the Tang dynasty

獨憐幽草澗邊生 上有黃鸝深樹鳴 春潮帶雨晚來急 野渡無人舟自橫

~ 韋應物 (唐代) <<滁州西澗>>

Visiting the Hermit

Whereabouts is the hermit, I ask a lad under the pines

He is away gathering herbs, the lad replies

Must be somewhere in this mountain

Only the clouds are too deep to be certain

~ Translated by Dot, from Jia Dao’s “Visiting the Hermit With no Luck,” written in the Tang dynasty

松下問童子
言師採藥去
只在此山中
雲深不知處

賈島 (唐代) <<尋隱者不遇>>

Snowy Night

Too cold to settle between the beddings

I see the window brightened up, almost blinding

It is the heavy snow, deep in the night

Occasionally cracking some bamboo upright

~ Translated by Dot, from Bai Juyi’s “Snow At Night,” written in the Tang dynasty

已訝衾枕冷
復見窗户明
夜深知雪重
時聞折竹聲

~ 白居易 (唐代) <<夜雪>>

Parting

Tenderhearted yet disguised as heartless

Since it’s hard to laugh before a wine flask

Unlike the candle, who must be feeling sorry

For it’s been shedding tears till morning

~ Translated by Dot, from Du Mu’s “Parting,” written in the Tang dynasty

多情卻似總無情
唯覺樽前笑不成
蠟燭有心還惜別
替人垂淚到天明

~ 杜牧 (晚唐) <<贈別>>

Awaking In Spring

A spring daybreak comes quietly, after a long night sleep

If not for the birds chirping, you might not even know it

Recalling the wind and din of rain during the night

Who knows how many flowers have slipped?

~ Translated by Dot, from Meng Haoran’s “A Morning in Spring,” written in the Tang dynasty

春眠不觉晓,处处闻啼鸟。夜来风雨声,花落知多少。

~ 孟浩然 (唐代) <<春晓>>

The Plateau

I didn’t feel well, later in the day

So I drove to the foregone upland, leading to a plateau

Such splendid panoramic view, the sun’s still in the field

The only regret is, the dusk being next in queue

~ Translated by Dot, from Li Shangyin’s “The Delight On A Plateau,” written in the Tang dynasty

向晚意不適
驅車登古原
夕陽無限好
只是近黃昏

~ 李商隱 (唐朝) <<登樂遊原>>

To The Willow

The emerald dress is tailored for the tree

Ten thousand green fringes swaying with a trill

Don’t know who’s behind such a nifty piece

In the master’s deft fingers, the February breeze

must be like a good pair of scissors

~ Translated by Dot, from He Zhizhang’s “An Ode to the Willow,” written in the Tang dynasty

碧玉妝成一樹高
萬條垂下綠絲縧
不知細葉誰裁出
二月春風似剪刀

~ 賀知章 (唐朝) <<詠柳>>