Saturday, April 30, 2011


The rooster in my courtyard
Claims the sun for his own.

Far away the snowcapped peaks
Blush to be discovered

- Hu Ming-Xiang


You said you were sorry
Your words as soft

As the last snow falling
On the first cherry blossoms.

- Hu Ming-Xiang

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Unseen Mountain

Who questions the mountain's presence
Hidden away behind the clouds?

Let others speak of faith and doubt
I am silent with sincerity.

- Hu Ming-Xiang

The Cuckoo

All day a cuckoo across the valley
Repeats its foolish hope.

Until we leave off talk and listen
As though in answer.

- Hu Ming-Xiang

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Singing on the lake strand

The waves make a music so subtle
Only the stones can hear

I feared my songs didn't move you
Until I saw you wink.

- Hu Ming-Xiang


I sit in the white cloud's shadow
It passes and I know
The wind is blowing.

I sit in the mountain's shadow
It passes and I know
The sun has shifted.

- Hu Ming-Xiang

The Spiral Way

Searching for the peak
I advance in circles

Like a knife peeling
The skin of a fruit.

- Hu Ming-Xiang

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Crow

There are those who keep orioles in well-wrought cages
I have only this crow I feed when I can

She comes and goes through my open window
Bringing twigs and dead morsels, sometimes a leaf.

- Hu Ming-Xiang

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rowing Across

A man with two oars chooses no sides,
Keeps his balance, travels fast.

A man with only one pays attention
To the currents, struggles to find his way.

- Hu Ming-Xiang

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Winter Song

Fledgling snow in the nightingale's nest
And the sky aches with ten thousand stars.

Sometimes, when the night is still
I hear, far away, the gibbons calling.

- Hu Ming-Xiang

The Last Watch

I too have lain awake at night
And heard the watchman calling the hours.

I too have woken to an unlocked door
Grateful for all the thief left behind.

- Hu Ming-Xiang

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Old Man's Winter Night

I am too old to throw stones at the moon
But sometimes, when the night is dark
I will step out, and raise my lantern
High above my face as if to seek the stars.

- Hu Ming-Xiang

Thursday, April 07, 2011


Emptying a jar of clear water
I disturb the tranquil well.

How can I tell the peace I feel
And not break into words?

- Hu Ming-Xiang

The Lazy Shepherd

Others may chase their flocks all day
Pen them at night for fear of thieves.

I tie the river to me with a thread
Watch the moon chasing the clouds.

- Hu Ming-Xiang

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Spring Landscape

White clouds and mountains look down
On the day so young beneath them.

Between perfect stillness and pure motion
The wanderer passes restlessly.

- Hu Ming-Xiang


No floods this year. Just the snow giving way
Little by little, and darkness every day delayed.

I got drunk so slowly I didn't notice
When my words to you stopped making sense.

- Hu Ming-Xiang

Monday, April 04, 2011

Flute Music

Thrown into the river, these crumpled pages
Unfurl and blossom at the water's touch.
Someone plays a flute in the village
The music stirs memories of you.

- Hu Ming-Xiang