(after Li Bai)
It’s spring, you say – Why are you still here?
The lichens are slowly turning
The mountain rock to new dirt,
The snowmelt is carrying the old dirt away;
Why are you still here?
I smile; my heart
Beats as slowly as the mountain’s heart.
A peach blossom, ripped from the twig
By the pummeling spring rain,
May be carried by freshet, by gully,
By stream, by river – clear to the sea, maybe;
So too me:
ripped from heaven,
Halfway to somewhere else by now.
Which is why I have no answer.
Already you can see the problem, yes?
Here is a supposedly-literal translation (whatever that means):
You ask for what reason I stay on the green mountain,
I smile, but do not answer, my heart is at leisure.
Peach blossom is carried far off by flowing water,
Apart, I have heaven and earth in the human world.