Currently I cannot say that I understand the valley
understand the petal-like, windborne unfolding of her confession
full moon night in the underbrush, ladybugs flutter
like the grains of stars falling into the valley’s wet creases
someone says: the full moon can trigger a kind of savage snow . . .
I believe that this is a simple truth: tonight
when the biting cold of silence crushes my stone house.
And shadows of branches steal in through the window the oak desk
that’s so fragile I am forced to love it has exploded just a little bit
(from the glossy maroon crook of the elbow off to coarse distance)
once I dried it out under the overfilled moon
hoping it could become pregnant with deep, whirl-rippled
blood just like my flesh, awakened by the vast sky
wandering an empty valley listening to the mountain’s secret, copious spill
Entering the Hills
If you quail before your master
do not be afraid to seek wisdom in nature!
Please believe that the rays of light at nightfall have damp
antennae. Carrying ancient books in both arms like a prize
I walked out of the shade of uninterrupted numbers
past the distant indifferent voices of the Mass. A tuft of wild grass
turned gold in the gradually deepening dusk,
durable twinkling with potential that’s hard to quantify.
And the light wind caressing the cheek brings the gem clatter
of spring water, a shrinking scent of flowers vast amounts of dust
from the vault of heaven. It is so good to stay in this empty valley!
A curlew alights on a ball-round stone before me
silent, secret heat wound around its breast like a thick, curved compass needle. I stop
to watch branches stretch freely among the dusky corners of the earth—
flame in such detail draws the old, fogged mirror of early night.
—translated from the Chinese by Nick Admussen