Tour2019

Tour 2019 – Day 21

The Han River Rich and full, all surging swells and white gulls in flight, it flows springtime deep, its green a crystalline dye for robes. Going south and coming back north, you grow older, older. Late light lingers, farewell to a fishing boat bound for home. – Tu Mu translated by David Hinton in Mountain Home Roll the ol chariot along My campsite was on the Green River, the largest flowing body of water I’ve seen in a…

Continue reading

Tour2019

Tour 2019 – Day 20

Sent to a Master of Silence on White-Tower Mountain Knowing you’ve returned to White-Tower, I gaze into mountain distances, late skies clearing. Mind tranquil in a stone house, moon-shadow lingers across frozen lakes. Thin cloud feathers into scraps and away. Ancient trees fall and dry into firewood. Past midnight, who hears stone chimes? The cragged summit on West Peak is cold. -Chia Tao translated by David Hinton in Mountain Home We’re bobbing on the surface It was already…

Continue reading

Tour2019

Tour 2019 – Day 19

I entered the mountains and my cares became clear serene at heart I let them all go the trees beyond my yard thin out in fall the stream before my door becomes louder when it rains I pick greens and boil tea when a fellow hermit arrives I give a neighbor monk chrysanthemums in a pot from town the gentry might have their fine food and clothes but they can’t match a mountain monk with…

Continue reading

Tour2019

Tour 2019 – day 18

XLIX The birds at play: when I can’t stand them any longer, I go sleep in my thatched hut. The cherries in the trees glow bright as the tips of burning incense, and the willow branches sway. Sun runs up green ridges. Sunlit clouds wash in the green pool. Everybody knows: if you want out of the dust, head up the south side of Cold Mountain. -Han Shan translated by J.P. Seaton in Cold Mountain…

Continue reading

Tour2019

Tour 2019 – Day 17

67 The cold in these mountains is ferocious, has been every year since the beginning. Crowded peaks locked in perennial snows, recluse-dark forests breathing out mists, grasses never sprout before the solstice and leaves start falling in early August. This confusion includes a lost guest now, searching, searching—no sky to be seen. – Han Shan translated by David Hinton in Mountain Home Vast Tracks of Land Sunrise on the Boone Creek was achingly lovely; the…

Continue reading

Tour2019

Tour 2019 – day 16

SEEING DU FU OFF IN EASTERN LU PREFECTURE Only a few days are left, So together we climb up to face the endless pools. When will we get on the stone path again Toward the gate up on the mountain And raise our cups up there? The autumn waves spread on the Si River, An ocean view brightens Julai Mountain. Like tumbling weeds, we will go separate ways, So for now let us drain our…

Continue reading

Tour2019

Tour 2019 – Day 15

Before Crossing the Ridges All learning overturned in your pond’s ink-dark ripples, your tree of life scattering its branches: it’s breathtaking. Just one darling girl left now. She plays in courtyard dirt, empty mind fluent in all those scribbled sparrow tracks. -Liu Tsung-yüan translated by David Hinton in Mountain Home With limestone blocks so large I awoke on the Wildlife Refuge with the calls of strange birds in my ears. Back on the road–the same…

Continue reading

Tour2019

Tour 2019 – Day 14

Laments of the Gorges 10 Death-owls call in human voices. Dragons wolf down heaving mountain waters. Here in broad daylight, with all the enticing serenity of a clear and breezy sky, they beggar wisdom, snarling everything alive in fetid gatherings of vine-covered depths. Want filling fanged cascades bottomless, sawtooth froth swells everywhere. Nesting birds can’t settle in trees tilted so askew, trees gibbons leaping and swinging fill. Who can welcome laments of the gorges, gorges…

Continue reading

Tour2019

Tour 2019 – Day 13

Green gullies and red cliffs wherever I look and my thatch hut in between beneath a patched robe my body stays warm I’ve forgotten my worries along with the date rushes grow thin where the soil is rocky bamboo shoots grow tall where it’s deep sometimes at midnight I hear a bell and remember there’s a temple down below -Stonehouse translated by Red Pine in The Mountain Poems of Stonehouse High Road to Lima It…

Continue reading

Tour2019

Tour 2019 – day 12

Below the pines its twin doors are never closed its gilt statue is lit by blue light a monkey breaks a vine and falls into a stream startled deer resume their dreams in the clouds glad to see mountains I like mountains better the Way finds me without me trying it’s been so long since I went to the gate the lichen and moss must be inches thick -Stonehouse translated by Red Pine in The…

Continue reading