the passion

The passion of my heart is sharp
and stealing ever on, brings pain;
burns like a stirred-up fire, smokeless;
wastes like a mortal fever every limb.
My father cannot save me nor my mother
nor even you, my friend.



The lotus pond is bristling with pink buds;
the nights grow shorter while the empyrean’s gem,
its cloak of frost unloosed, grows bold.
Now come the days resounding with the cuckoo
and sweet with mango scent
to cut the hearts of ladies separated from their lovers.


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.