A broken moon hangs from a gaunt parasol tree.
The water clock has stopped, and people hush into sleep.
Who sees a hermit like me passing alone
like a shadow of a flying wild goose?
Startled and soaring off, I look back
with grief no one understands,
going from branch to branch, unwilling to settle,
and landing at last on a cold and desolate shoal.
translated by Tony Barnstone & Chou Ping
Seven thousand miles away, a gray-haired man;
eighteen rapids, one little boat:
hills recall Hsi-huan–thoughts roam far away;
“fearful” they call this place–it makes me want to cry.
A long wind follows us, bellying the sail;
rain-fed current bears the boat through rippled shallows.
With my experience, they ought to make me official boatman–
I know more of rivers than merely where the ferries cross.
translated by Burton Watson
drinks his cup of bitterness
chokes on memories
no good comes from withdrawing
a time to return draws near