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Friday, February 29, 2008

The Clouds Should Know Me By Now

This book is a collection of poems translated from the Chinese by talented scholars and edited by Red Pine and Mike O'Connor, masters at their craft. Written by Buddhist monks, these spare, elegant poems represent work spanning the 1100 years from the middle T'ang dynasty to the beginning of the twentieth century.
Full of references to nature, sometimes reflecting sadness then fleeting moments of calm pleasure, they are a feast for the mind and soul. Offering at times profound spiritual insights, they call us to moments of quiet reflection---soul searching, so to speak.

This morning
laughing together
just a few such days
in a hundred.

After birds pass
over Sword Gate, it's calm;
invaders from the south
have withdrawn to the Lu River wilds.

We walk on frosted ground
praising chrysanthemums bordering fields
sit on the east edge of the woods,
waiting for the moon to rise.

Not having to be alone
is happiness:
we do not talk
of failure or success.