By The Winding River II by Tu Fu

Everywhere petals are flying
And Spring is fading. Ten thousand
Atoms of sorrow whirl away
In the wind. I will watch the last
Flowers as they fade, and ease
The pain in my heart with wine.
Two kingfishers mate and nest in
The ruined river pavilion.
Stone unicorns, male and female,
Guard the great tomb near the park.
After the laws of their being,
All creatures pursue happiness.
Why have I let an official
Career swerve me from my goals?

translated by Kenneth Rexroth

By The Winding River I by Tu Fu

Every day on the way home from
My office I pawn another
Of my Spring clothes. Every day
I come home from the river bank
Drunk. Everywhere I go, I owe
Money for wine. History
Records few men have lived to be
Seventy. I watch the yellow
Butterflies drink deep of the
Flowers, and the dragonflies
Dipping the surface of the
Water again and again.
I cry out to the Spring wind,
And the light and the passing hours.
We enjoy life such a little
While, why should men cross each other?

translated by Kenneth Rexroth

Egrets by Tu Mu

Robes of snow, crests of snow, and beaks of azure-jade,
they fish in shadowy streams. Then starting up into

flight, they leave emerald mountains for lit distances.
Pear blossoms, a tree-full, tumble in the evening wind.

translated by David Hinton

afternoon ceremony

music plays
a Turkish ballad
on this not quite
spring day
they test the microphone
set up tables
for food
and drink
a podium for speeches
awards to be given
employees recognized
banners flap
in the breeze
a festive mood
a joyous way
to end the day
as we approach
one more holiday
my only regret
I forgot to wear
a tie

Moonlit Night by Wei Ying-wu

A brilliant moon wanders the spring city,
thick dew luminous among fragrant grasses.

I sit, longing. Empty, this window of gauze
torn and fluttering in crystalline radiance,

crystalline radiance where it ends like this:
torn more and more, a person growing old.

translated by David Hinton