late winter

The fields where sesamum has ripened
and now lies dry delight the doves;
the mustard turns to brown,
its flowers giving way to fruit:
the wind scatters the hemp
and makes the body shiver with its drops of sleet:
travelers, quarreling in empty argument,
huddle about the public fire.



The cold beauty of the moonlight fades as though
from lack of luck in love;
for no more is it met by laughter of the waterlilies;
its darling moonstone, overlaid by frost,
no longer sweats with yearning;
nor is it welcomed by the eyes of lovers
between their bouts of love.


the girl

What is this new river of allurement
where waterlilies float together with the moon?
The cranial lobes of an elephant rise from its depths,
and in it grow the trunks of plantain trees and stems of
lotus fiber.


sec. 40

Only fools and not the wise
love what they cannot have.
Who but a child seeks to grasp
the moon as it shines in water?



The stars shone…as if they were zero signs
written in the sky
which was like a hide black with the ink of darkness,
with the Moon as a piece of chalk,
by the Creator reckoning the extent of the universe,
because of the total emptiness (of the universe)
of transmigration…


white umbrella

The sky at summer’s coming dons a cloak of dust
stirred up by wind to form a parasol
for keeping off the heat from earth.
The bees fly not as hitherto forthwith
to drink the nectar of the coral tree,
for they doubt its flower may be forest fire.



The darkness wears the guise of rising smoke
and the sky is filled with opening stars for sparks
as the sun descends into the sunset fire.
As his loves, the lotuses, bow down in grief,
lamenting with the cry of struggling bees,
the goddess of the day turns west and joins him in his death.



The sun gives sharp pain
like a low man newly rich.
The deer drops his horns
like a thankless friend.
The waters grow lucid
like a saint’s pious thought;
and the mud is squeezed dry
like a poor man ·who keeps a mistress.



Happy are they who in some mountain dale
sit meditating on the highest light,
the fearless birds alighting in their lap
to taste their tears of bliss.
But here sit I in a pavilion
set in a pleasure garden by a pool
within the palace of my daydreams;
and as I daydream, I grow old.