Zhang Mingfu

winter-fenceA Cold Evening’s Feast at Zhang Mingfu’s
by Meng Haoran
A lucky first snow falling a full foot,
Evening eases in, and just at midnight’s nigh.
Mats arrayed, we wine companions beg
To cut the candle to a poem’s length.
Warmed by the fragrant golden ashes of the stove,
Her jade fingers pluck the lute strings clear,
And just then, befuddled, I wish to fall asleep,
Surprised awake by the cock’s cry.

The Morning After at Zhang Mingfu
Morning is a distant light that
Reveals ghostly figures in the naked trees
I open the window and shout
Silence,
Except for the cry of the cock
The snow still blows
Against Zhang Mingfu’s house
In go to the stove,
Where the silver white ashes are cold
And though I toss inside a sparrow’s nest and wood,
Then blow
No ember lights the flame

A cracked wine cup, an empty plate
Lie scattered on a wine stained mat
On the stool a silk scarf scented jasmine
The remains of
The girl whose face was white as snow
My companions gone
And when the cock-a-doodle-do
Fades to nothingness
I am alone

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