To Tzu-chih: among the “Flowers” by Li Shang-yin

Leonard Durso

The light on the pool suddenly hides behind the wall,
Mingled scents of flowers invade the room.
On the edge of the screen, powder smeared by the butterfly:
On the lacquered window the yellow print of the bee.
Push those state papers across to the clerks,
There’s a maid for every honest civil servant.
Let’s ride abreast and hear each other’s poems.
What’s so urgent about this business you waste your heart on?

translated by A.C.Graham

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