This is my third Cold Food Festival
since I was exiled to Huang-chou.
Each parting spring, each year, I grieve.
Nevertheless, each passes–no regret.
This year there’s pestilential rain,
the past two months dark as autumn.
I lie still, listening to cherry blossoms fall
into snow, pink and growing muddy.
Of what steals things in the dark,
the strangest arrives at midnight:
as though a young man went to bed
only to wake and find his hair turned white.
translated by Sam Hamill