Qingcheng Mountain #4


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.

No correspondence:

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.

—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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