Hsu Wei

Hsu Wei - J.P. Seaton

..the brilliant and strange quatrains of Hsu Wei (1521-1593) the brilliant and very strange painter/ poet/ dramatist/ wife murderer/ (he actually served seven years in prison) and apparently sometimes† effective officer of state.

 

Cloud Gate Temple/ Painting Plum Trees

Floating bridge
water flowing
the snow
spits
as I wander
late in March
the buds
now green
in trees
awash
with coldness,
but the only plum blossoms
to be seen
are in my painting.

James Cryer


Peach Leaf Ferry

I
In a book
seeing peach leaves
I thought of you
sadly†††† as if
you hadnít died.
Crossing now
at Peach Leaf Ferry
I see only
the river.

II
Sad
at Peach Leaf Ferry
for the green willows
graceful, delicate.
Ten feet of water,
five gallons of mud,
and their lovely reflections
canít be seen.

III
Sad
at Peach Leaf Ferry
confused reflections
of her face.
Ten feet of water
five gallons of mud
and her hairpinís fallen
where?

James Cryer

Painting Bamboo

Cheap silk
from Eastern Wu
dull and damp,
and too the pot
is bare
of sizing,
but when my brush
sweeps through
the shadow
of a solitary phoenix
hereís silken rain
on the Hsiang Chiang River
and pale mists.

James Cryer