on what’s at the end of rainbows

This reblog seems especially appropriate now with or without actual rainbows but always with one metaphorically hanging in the sky.

Leonard Durso


I’m not looking for that pot of gold or the Land of Oz or even that promise of home and the fulfillment of whatever dreams are still floating inside my head and heart, wistfully evoked by Judy Garland and so many other singers over the years in song, no, not looking anymore. Or at least that’s what I thought not so long ago. But the sight of one in the sky on a morning after a long rain, well it does do something to everyone, causing smiles, sighs, that glaze over the eyes when one is transported somewhere other than where one is. And I spent a minute or two staring pensively out the window at that sky, that rainbow stretching across it in a corner of my universe, and I couldn’t help but think I’m not through journeying just yet. The years have crept up on me and slowed…

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I’m a Frightened Monkey Who’s Reached the Forest by Su Tung-p’o

Leonard Durso

I’m a frightened monkey who’s reached the forest,
a tired horse unharnessed at last,
my mind a void to fill with new thoughts;
surroundings are old to me–I see them in dreams.
River gulls flock around, growing tamer;
old Tanka men drop in to visit.
South pond lotus spreads green coins;
north hill bamboo sends up purple shoots.
Bring-the-wine jug (what does he know about wine?)
inspires me with a fine idea.
The spring river had a beautiful poem
but, drunk, I dropped it somewhere far away.

translated by Burton Watson

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A remembrance is moving by Juan Ramon Jimenez

Leonard Durso

A remembrance is moving
down the long memory, disturbing
the dry leaves with its delicate feet.

—Behind, the house is empty.
On ahead, highways
going on to other places, solitary highways,
stretched out.
And the rain is like weeping eyes,
as if the eternal moment were going blind—.

Even though the house is quiet and shut,
even though I am not in it, I am in it.
And. . .good-bye, you who are walking
without turning your head!

translated by Robert Bly

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Hsiang-yang Travels: Thinking of Meng Hao-jan by Po Chü-i

Leonard Durso

Emerald Ch’u mountain peaks and cliffs,
emerald Han River flowing full and fast:

Meng’s writing survives here, its elegant
ch’i now facets of changing landscape.

But today, chanting the poems he left us
and thinking of him, I find his village

clear wind, all memory of him vanished.
Dusk light fading, Hsiang-yang empty,

I look south to Deer-Gate Mountain, haze
lavish, as if some fragrance remained,

but his old mountain home is lost there:
mist thick and forests all silvered azure.

translated by David Hinton

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