continued from I want to write different words for you by Nizar Kabbani

Take all the books
That I read in my childhood,
Take all my school notebooks,
Take the chalk
The pens,
And the blackboards,
But teach me a new word
To hang like an earring
On my lover’s ear.

I want new fingers
To write in a new way,
Like high masts of ships,
Long like a giraffe’s neck
So I can tailor for my beloved
A garment of poetry.

I want to make you a unique alphabet.
In it I want
The rhythm of the rain,
The dust of the moon,
The sadness of the grey clouds,
The pain of the fallen willow leaves
Under the wheels of autumn.

translated by Bassam K. Frangieh & Clementina R. Brown

Thoughts Sent on My Way Home from River-Serene, After Stopping to Gaze at Samadhi-Forest Monastery by Wang An-shih

My lame donkey hates the stony road
up there, and I’m done with big climbs.

It seems forever since I saw you, my old
monk friend. Our youth suddenly gone,

I keep following morning clouds away,
then race evening birds back into this

valley of pines all shadowed dark. Here,
I know you in the distances between us.

translated by David Hinton