Walking in the Mountains, Du Mu

When the busy work of day is done. A leisurely Autumn walk to the mountains outside Chang’an. Transcending time and place, we are once again treated to a spectacular view of maple leaves covered in frost on a mountainside, colorfully glittering in the twilight. As beauty is constructed in each person’s mind, it exists only…

Sunset on the River

Sunset on the River or Twilight River Chant, by Bai Juyi. The unnamed river is likely the Qiantang which flows through Hangzhou where Bai Juyi served as governor.* The setting sun spreading from the center,Half the river trembling, the other half is red.I pity the third night of September,Its pearl-like dew, bow-like moon. Sunset on…

Mt Emei Moon Song

A poem as a postcard — the image of an autumn half moon rising over Mt. Emei and its watery reflection, departing Qinxi, missing you, on the way to Yuzhou. 峨 眉 山 月 半 轮 秋影 入 平 羌 江 水 流夜 发 清 溪 向 三 峡思 君 不 见 下 渝 州…

A Night Lodging in a Mountain Temple

Atop a teetering tower, picking a star, but careful not to panic the gods. A five-character quatrain, 20 characters in total. 夜宿山寺李白 危樓高百尺手可摘星辰不敢高聲語恐驚天上人 Night Lodging in a Mountain Temple*Li Bai (701–762) A teetering tower a hundred feet highI can pick my very own starBut I dare not speak loudlyFor fear of startling the gods Yè…

Autumn Rain, Bai Juyi

The temperature all last week hovered in the high nineties, then it broke one hundred. Summer was early in the Midwest. The inside of the car was hard to cool. The sidewalks were like a furnace. The grass on the lawns withered and browned. It got so that I began singing to myself Phil Collins’…

Early Autumn in Shaanxi – Li Bai

Early Autumn in (Taiyuan) Shaanxi Year’s end, the flowers now restThe season of the fleeting Fire StarOn the Frontier, the mighty frost is early andAutumn’s colorful clouds have crossed the RiverDreams circle the city’s wallsIn autumn my heart flies homewardMy thoughts returning south, like the Fen RiverEveryday, all day long My thoughts return homeward Li…

Taking down a trellis – Du Fu

Taking down a trellis Already, the sticks I tied are withered and falling,The calabash leaves are thin and sparse. Luckily the white flowers have born their fruit, And peacefully the green leaves have faded. Autumn insects speak not a sound, What’s must sparrows think at dusk? For bitter cold is now our prison; So, Life…

Li Shen – Pity the Farmers

Pity the Farmer, Air 1 A single grain of wheat sewn in spring By autumn ten thousand brings If in all the world no field lies fallow Why then are hungry peasants dying Pity the Farmer, Air 2 Hoeing grain at noon Sweat dripping on the soil Who knows, the food you eat Grain by…

It’s cold, 已涼

Laying beyond a blue-green doorPast a scarlet screen, full of flowers and blossomsLies a brocaded quilt of an eight-foot bearded dragon It is cool, but not yet cold The poem’s meaning It is autumn and that means falling leaves of red and gold, cold fronts and cool air. The first frost has not come, so…