The Cranes – Bai Juyi

The western wind has blown but a few days;
Yet the first leaf already flies from the bough.
On the drying paths I walk in my thin shoes;
In the first cold, I have donned my quilted coat.
Through shallow ditches the floods are clearing away;
Through sparse bamboo trickles a slanting light.
In the early dusk, down an alley of green moss,
The garden-boy is leading the cranes home.

Resignation – Bai Juyi

Don’t think of the past;
It only awakens painful regrets.
Don’t think of the future;
It paralyzes with uncertain longings.
Better by day to sit like a sack in your chair;
Better by night to lie like a stone in your bed.
When food comes-open your mouth.
When sleeping comes-shut your eyes.

A Foresaken Garden – Bai Juyi

I enter the court
Through the middle gate—
And my sleeve is wet with tears.

The flowers still grow
In the courtyard,
Though two springs have fled
Since last their master came.

The windows, porch, and bamboo screen
Are just as they always were,
But at the entrance to the house
Someone is missing—
You!

After Lunch – Bai Juyi

After eating lunch, I feel so sleepy.
Waking later, I sip two bowls of tea,

then notice shadows aslant, the sun
already low in the southwest again.

Joyful people resent fleeting days.
Sad ones can’t bear the slow yers.

It’s those with no joy and no sorrow—
they trust whatever this life brings.