I Visit Qiantang Lake in Spring

(after Bai Juyi)

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I could go north to Gushan temple, or west to Jiating.
I could. But here… here, I am between the calm water and the drifting clouds,
Where the young orioles squabble over perches in the sun,
Where the swallows have returned, and now are harvesting the spring mud.

Unruly flowers sprang up while I was looking elsewhere,
While my horse waded through the new grass.

No, I’ll go east again, where I long to wander
Beneath the green poplars, on White Sand Trail.

 

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The Chinese Dragons, part 4

8114153510_498e05f556_kThe dragons do not seek out men.
They hoard their wisdom like jewels.
The least scale from the belly of a dragon
Might ransom any of the kings of men.

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The Chinese Dragons


I.
The Chinese dragons have faces like old men
Grow stronger the older they grow
Lie by telling the truth
Can ride the slightest wind to invisible heights
Are beautiful in motion, hideous in repose.