Ch'iao Chi
Admonishing Myself

sit in the clean breexe
sleep in the high white clouds
no one can spit in your face
when you're there
hum a tune, and laugh
let the rest of them
yoke themselves to millstones
hide in a hole, with peace, and joy
east? it's within me.
and west? that too.

clouds may be thick or thin
windows may be dark or bright
take it easy,
you can break the poor old dragon's jaw
by pulling teeth for "meaning".
stumble along, as upright as you can
and don't
be avaricious.
who tries
to hold what flashes in the worldly storm, will drown.
flow and you'll fill the forms
stop, and you'll leave a hole
doing? within me.
and hiding? that too.

pretend to be stupid, act like a fool
pretend to be deaf, to be dumb
what can a man make that's lasting?
hum a few phrases, pour out more wine
dream white clouds coiling your green mountain pillow
see everywhere embroidered white with peonies.
flourishing? within me.
and fading? that too.

Chou Wen-Chih

when peach blossoms open in the court
oh, happy, joyous drunk
when lotus blooms perfume the pool
oh mornings, evenings, drunk
when golden asters cluster by the hedgerow path
oh falling, tumbling, drunk
and when the wax-plum on the mountainside
first blooms to herald the spring
oh coming,going, drunk
getting drunker, getting drunker
drunk and sober; sober, drunk


in spring I search the scent of bamboo
flowers by a stream, and drink
in summer sail through lotus blossoms
by a willow-shrouded shore, and drink
in autumn climb the aster path
to sit within a maple grove, and drink
in winter snuggle by a rosy stove
in cozy hall, and drink
oh happiness, oh happiness
all four seasons, lovely cenes
and suitable for drinking.

Back | Home | Forward