A Painting of Two Fish


A Painting of Two Fish

Tune pattern: Lin jiang xian



To fathom the boundless meaning beneath our floating tracks

Someone has released these shadows, paired together,

Amidst the duck weed (emerald) and algae (red).

Waters of spring are moving on. Yet they do not mind,

Knowing they will see the length of love

In a willow’s thread-like branches.


We plunge into the waves—into our profound dreams.

Never mind the helpless weeping of the flood dragon,

Nor toil with fragrant bait in this silvery pool.

We nibble here at the thinning moon

And together cherish this flow of light.



—Chang Ch’ung-ho

Translated by Hans H. Frankel and Ian Boyden


[This poem first appeared in the artist book Peach Blossom Fish (Crab Quill Press, 1999.]


Constellations of Humanity

Each luminous dot on this map represents one reader of this poem. As the number of readers increases, the stars begin to cluster and form an increasingly detailed constellation. My intent is to show how brightly a poem glows across our world. I welcome your light.

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