The day I met you by Nizar Kabbani

The day I met you
I tore up
All my maps and my prophecies
And became like an Arabian horse.
I smell the scent of your rain
Before it makes me wet,
I hear the rhythm of your voice
Before you speak
I undo your braids
Before you plait them.

translated y Bassam K. Frangieh & Clementina R. Brown

mixing lines from Wei Ying-wu and T’ao Ch’ien for friends both now and then dear to my heart: the ebb and flow of time

there is the ebb
and flow
of time
and we old friend
are participants
we are young
we are old
we embrace
countless times
in greeting in farewell
leaving each time
a thousand streams
of tears
wondering when
if ever
all this coming
and going
will end
and we can finally sit
in the shade
of some distant tree
a glass of whiskey
in our hands
and time
once and for all
on our side

To Secretary Yang by Wei Ying-wu

Colleagues have scattered and gates are closed
the calling of birds fills a mountain town
our parting on the Yangtze seems so long ago
I notice the empty mat beside me
the boats on South Lake are moored because of rain
the screens at North Tower are rolled up due to wind
wine-tasting parties are canceled
I regret our time together has passed

translated by Red Pine