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J.P. Seaton

Rhymes in a Boat II.

Yuan Mei

From the neighbor’s east, an owl’s weird cry…
His heart is hard. If he held a spear, the owl would die.
From the neighbor’s west, a fox has come
to yap outside his room.
His heart is set. If he held a bow.
the fox would meet his doom.
The old monk’s meditation ends, by saddest sighs it’s marred.
Evil? Not to see it’s easy: not to hear it’s hard.

J.P. Seaton

 

Rhymes in a Boat III.

Yuan Mei

A good horse goes by day, and rests at night.
The sound of oars goes on and on. no end in sight.
When I’m home I flee from guests,
my gate is always closed.

In a boat I’m home to all,
to visit, none’s disposed.
Thirty-six thousand days
in the life of a lucky man,
but a single day that’s spent in a boat
has simply an endless span.

J.P. Seaton

~

Tu Fu

I heard long ago about Tungting Lake
here I am climbing Yuehyang Tower
where Wu and Chu divide South from East
where Heaven and Earth and day and night drift
of family and friends I have no news
old and sick I live on a boat
warhorses block the northern passes
my tears fall on the railing.

Red Pine

~

Shih-te

I laugh at my failing strength in old age
Yet still dote on pines and crags, to wander there in solitude
How I regret that in all these past years until today
I’ve let things run there course like an unanchored boat.

James Hargett

Night Thoughts While Traveling

Tu Fu

A light breeze rustles the reeds
Along the river banks. The
Mast of my lonely boat soars
Into the night. Stars blossom
Over the vast desert of
Waters. Moonlight flows on the
Surging river. My poems have
Made me famous but I grow
Old, ill and tired, blown hither
And yon; I am like a gull
Lost between heaven and earth.

Kenneth Rexroth

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