Mooring on the Chien-te River

Meng Hao-jan

The boat rocks at anchor by the misty island
Sunset, my loneliness comes again.
In these vast wilds the sky arches down to the trees.
In the clear river water, the moon draws near.

Gary Snyder


Du Fu

Slender wind shifts the shore’s fine grass.
Lonely night below the boat’s tall mast.
Stars hang low as the vast plain splays;
the swaying moon makes the great river race.
How can poems make me known?
I’m old and sick, my career done.
Drifting, just drifting. What kind of man am I?
A lone gull floating between earth and sky.

Tony Barnstone

Evening View from a Boat

Yang Wan-li

We sail past a pine-tree forest on the river bank.
A man is walking where the trees end.
A mountain moves in front of the man, blocking our view.
The blue flag of a wine shop flutters in the wind.

Jonathan Chaves


Ouyang Xiu

A light boat with short oars- West Lake is good.
A gentle curve in the green water,
Fragrant grass along the dike,
The faint sound of pipes and song follows me everywhere.

Without a wind, the water’s surface lies as smooth as glaze.
I don’t notice boats passing,
Tiny movements start up ripples,
Startled birds rise from the sand and graze the bank in flight.

Night Rain Beneath the City Walls of P’i-chou

Yang Shih-ch’i

Toward evening, the weather turns cold
and I moor my hoar for the night by the shore.
Lying on my pillow, I can’t fall asleep:
rain at night, on the roof of my lonely cabin.

Jonathan Chaves