Qingcheng Mountain #4Translations
Qingcheng Mountain #4
Tune pattern: Que qiao xian
A little cold
After last night’s pouring rain.
Alone I climb
A high peak and stand motionless.
Light clouds do not know
How to change into dragons or snakes,
But only to condense into pearls
That decorate my hair.
Myriad winding valleys,
The whole sky a distant blue.
In vain I look for a pair of wings.
The gnarled tree after a thousand years
Must understand the affairs
Of nature and of men.
Translated by Hans H. Frankel and Ian Boyden
[This poem first appeared in the artist book Peach Blossom Fish (Crab Quill Press, 1999.]