To the Tune: In the Hills by Hsueh Chao-yun

At Ch’ang-men, the grass is green,
jade stairs shimmering under dew.

Mist softens the moonlight.
East winds drown a sorrowful flute.

The water clock marks time.
Outside, orioles greet the dawn.

I wake in the night
Grief-stricken, in tears,

exhausted, just exhausted.
My grip crushes my robe.

Once again, my mind settles over you
like dust settles over our scrolls.

translated  by Sam Hamill

Running from Trouble by Tu Fu

Barely fifty, but already my face is old, hair white.
I traveled this whole coast fleeing the state.

Rough cloth saved my shivering bones
as I roamed the awful cold.

Thus began the years of my disease.
Everywhere, people were mud and ash.

Between heaven and earth,
there’s nowhere a body is safe.

I see my wife and children follow.
We sigh for mutual sorrows.

My old home gone to weeds,
and all my neighbors scattered,

we may never find the road back home.
We add our tears to the river.

translated by Sam Hamill