Cloud by Tu Mu

I see a cloud at day’s end and just can’t look away.
It has no mind at all, no mind and surely no talent:

a sad flake of bright jade radiant with color, drifting
ten thousand miles of clear sky, nowhere it began.

translated by David Hinton

from Things I Didn’t Know I Loved by Nazim Hikmet

I didn’t know I loved clouds
whether I’m under or up above them
whether they look like giants or shaggy white beasts

moonlight the falsest the most languid the most petit-bourgeois
strikes me
I like it

I didn’t know I liked rain
whether it falls like a fine net or splatters against the glass my
heart leaves me tangled up in a net or trapped inside a drop
and takes off for uncharted countries I didn’t know I loved
rain but why did I suddenly discover all these passions sitting
by the window on the Prague-Berlin train
is it because I lit my sixth cigarette
one alone could kill me
is it because I’m half dead from thinking about someone back in Moscow
her hair straw-blond eyelashes blue

the train plunges on through the pitch-black night
I never knew I liked the night pitch-black
sparks fly from the engine
I didn’t know I loved sparks
I didn’t know I loved so many things and I had to wait until sixty
to find out sitting by the window on the Prague-Berlin train
watching the world disappear as if on a journey of no return

translated by Randy Blasing & Mutlu Konuk

Evening Clouds by Olav H. Hauge

Clouds are arriving now
With greetings from
Distant coasts;
It’s been a while since
They sent a message to me.
You shy pink
High on the evening sky–
It’s probably for
Someone else.
Well, there’s still
Some hope left
In the world.

translated by Robert Bly