Winter Night, Writing About My Emotion

The winter night is cold and endless
and the palace water clock drums the hour.
Grass is white clouds of heavy frost
and aging trees reveal a bright moon.
Beautiful robes frame my wasted face.
A red lamp shines on my white hair.
Now the Han emperor’ respects only the young.
I look in my mirror, ashamed to go to the court.

Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping

A Stray Poem Written While Living in the Mount

Huang Zongxi

Knives, arrows, and imprisonment, let thesis come,
nothing can stop my strings and songs.
I face death with a calm heart
so what can poverty do to me?
With twenty-two ounces of cotton stuffing my broken comforter
and three pine Is to cook my empty wok,
this winter I still feel lavishly supplied.
I can’t imagine anyone doing better than me.

Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping

The Four Seasons in the  Mountains

Chang Yu

The old man of the mountains loves the mowuains:
in the mountains he has built his thatched hut.
At night, there’s a storm; the snow is so thick
it snaps branches of bamboo outside the window.

Jonathan Chaves

Commiserating with the Poor

Li K’ai-hsien

Hiss, hiss—the north wind blows,
knocking people down in the streets.
They have pants which don’t even cover their shins;
and they have no food at all; only dust fills their jars.
In the warm houses, what do they know of winter?
The flowery rooms have a springtime of their own!
Those dandies with their fancy pants of silk:
there’s not much you can say to them about the poor.

Jonathan Chaves