Friday, January 29, 2016

De Profundis – Arvo Pärt

Today’s selection is Arvo Pärt’s setting of “De Profundis”. The performance is by the The Hilliard Ensemble (David James counter tenor; John Potter tenor; Paul Hillier baritone; David Bevan bass) with Christopher Bowers-Broadbent on organ & Albert Bowen on percussion.

After today, Robert Frost’s Banjo will be on hiatus through the month of February. The next post should be up on March 1st.

Thanks as always for your interest; it is much appreciated.

Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:The Pillars of Creation: NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has revisited the famous Pillars of Creation, revealing a sharper and wider view of the structures in this visible-light image.

Astronomers combined several Hubble exposures to assemble the wider view. The towering pillars are about 5 light-years tall. The dark, finger-like feature at bottom right may be a smaller version of the giant pillars. The new image was taken with Hubble's versatile and sharp-eyed Wide Field Camera 3.

The pillars are bathed in the blistering ultraviolet light from a grouping of young, massive stars located off the top of the image. Streamers of gas can be seen bleeding off the pillars as the intense radiation heats and evaporates it into space. Denser regions of the pillars are shadowing material beneath them from the powerful radiation. Stars are being born deep inside the pillars, which are made of cold hydrogen gas laced with dust. The pillars are part of a small region of the Eagle Nebula, a vast star-forming region 6,500 light-years from Earth.

The colors in the image highlight emission from several chemical elements. Oxygen emission is blue, sulfur is orange, and hydrogen and nitrogen are green.

A number of Herbig-Haro jets lengthened noticeably (in the 20-year interval between the two Hubble images.

Object Names: M16, Eagle Nebula, NGC 6611

Published by: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

This file is in the public domain in the United States because it was solely created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted". (See Template:PD-USGov, NASA copyright policy page or JPL Image Use Policy.)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Nunc Dimittis

Today’s selection is the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir performing Arvo Pärt’s setting of “Nunc Dimittis”.

Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine, secundum verbum tuum in pace:
Quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum
Quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum:
Lumen ad revelationem gentium, et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word.
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

νῦν ἀπολύεις τὸν δοῦλόν σου, δέσποτα, κατὰ τὸ ῥῆμά σου ἐν εἰρήνῃ·
ὅτι εἶδον οἱ ὀφθαλμοί μου τὸ σωτήριόν σου,
ὃ ἡτοίμασας κατὰ πρόσωπον πάντων τῶν λαῶν,
φῶς εἰς αποκάλυψιν ἐθνῶν καὶ δόξαν λαοῦ σου Ἰσραήλ.


Image links to its source on Wiki Commons
Part of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field:     September 24, 2003 - January 16, 2004
The bright galaxy is UDF 423 with an apparent magnitude of 20.
NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team
Public domain: This file is in the public domain in the United States because it was solely created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted". (See Template:PD-USGov, NASA copyright policy page or JPL Image Use Policy.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

dreaming of Arvo Pärt

Arvo Pärt improvising on the pipe organ, its
ivory keys yellowed, exhaling notes that can't 

be gauged—the mauve shade drawn just now be-
tween the land of the sacred & everyday
night—& last year's blossoming jigsaw
puzzles & wheelchair & charcoal pencil all
waiting for the tintinnabulation of
next week’s waning February moon

& kids kicking a ball in the park by the brick 

firehouse under a blue blue sky streaked with one
contrail angling southwest one line of mare’s tails
angling southeast to meet at a point in in-
finite space beyond the white clapboard
cottage where an orange caged finch warbles—kids
in blue red purple gray black pink plumage, the 

grass lush from January rain & uncut though
who can tell how tomorrow will rise up east of
the viridian water tower & this
instant & eternity struggling within us

back east an actual snowfall & your breath
plain to hear as if even snowflakes failed to
absorb the sound the rib cage no longer in-
voluntary & the body's polyphony a

temple bell sounding a g note transmuted
to its natural harmonic at the guitar's
19th fret escaping the ramshackle fence col-
lapsing under wisteria & ivy & last year's

rose hips last year's hickory leaves fallen like
stars to the sidewalk—the gray stone exterior
of a Chinese restaurant named Swan Garden
blanketed in moss as if each stone dozed in
the slanting afternoon sun rays where life goes
white without a prism—tonight will be clear
but the moon wanes & just last Friday it rose
waxing aluminum white above the 20th
Avenue Bridge between the horns of a steel
cloud as if an antlered crane tomb guardian soared
from ancient Chu to your Massachusetts bedside

on Interstate a flock of seagulls swoops
counterclockwise above the light rail: gray-
white cries tracing catenaries & intersections;
to the north a pair of crows arc clockwise black 

& purple: these birds describing a figure 
8 infinity while Arvo Pärt, hands on a chord,
feet on the pedals, raises his beatific beard,
enunciates nunc dimittis, sends it floating
floating up to the net of unblinking stars

Jack Hayes
© 2016

More music by Arvo Pärt will appear tomorrow & Friday.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Salve Regina – Arvo Pärt

Today we’re featuring Arvo Pärt’s 2001 setting of “Salve Regina” for mixed choir & organ.

Image connects to its source on Wiki Commons
Essen Minster, where the work was first performed.
Photo by Wiki Commons user Gryffindor, who has released the image into the public domain worldwide.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Agnus Dei – Palestrina: “Missa Brevis”

I’ll be featuring music over the next several days—with very little if any commentary, though I will include links about the composer & the work. Today’s selection is the "Agnus Dei" from the "Missa Brevis" by the Renaissance composer Palestrina; most, however, will feature the music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt.

Thanks as always.

Image links to its soruce on Wiki Commons
Crozier representing a lamb, Italian art. 13th century; carved ivory
Photohraph by Marie-Lan Nguyen, who has released the image into the public domain

Sunday, January 24, 2016

lullaby in violet & green

static on a tv set broadcasting
weather from Poland Springs, that Vermont
horizon purple above the neighbors’ big
oak & the pine fringed hills to the west

you reading aloud "The King of the Golden
River" at blue dusk in a bedroom with one
open dormer window curtain floating
on the scent of lilacs blooming like twilight

can you sleep? can the train whistle sing in
harmony with the whip-poor-will in the green
night in a summer that existed once
beside a river & the brown-grey riprap?

but time doesn’t move in summer’s direction—
though it does stop: at day’s end always so much
undone & where you are it’s snowing snowing
now because you have no winter blanket

Jack Hayes
© 2016

Friday, January 22, 2016

thinking of Li Bai at the edge of the sky

thinking of Li Bai at the edge of the sky

cold winds arise here at the edge of the sky;
noble friend, what news do you have to send me?

will the swan geese return in their season?
rivers & lakes swell now with the autumn rains

poetry detests the life of attainment,
& demons take their delight in those who stray

you should speak with that other wronged poet’s ghost,
cast a poem as offering into the Miluo 

based on Du Fu: 天末懷李白
tiān mò huái lĭ bái

Note: The poem is of course addressed to Du Fu’s great contemporary, Li Bai, who had been exiled (& narrowly escaped a death sentence) as a result of the turmoil caused by the An Lushan rebellion; this upheaval also had displaced Du Fu to the southern edge of the empire.

Additionally, the “other wronged poet” referred to in the final couplet is Qu Yuan, a poet from the “Warring States” period who lived during the late 4th & early 3rd centuries BCE. Like Li Bai, Qu Yuan was exiled during a period of turmoil, & finally committed ritual suicide by throwing himself into the Miluo River in Hunan province. Qu Yuan is an important mytho-historical figure, & indeed, the Dragon Boat Festival is held to commemorate him. See also the reference to Qu Yuan in Du Fu’s “deep winter”.

Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:

Painting (cropped) of the ancient Chinese poet Qu Yuan by the late Ming era painter Chen Hongshou.  c. 1598-1652
Public domain

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

deep winter

deep winter

flower & leaf each conform to heaven’s will;
Yangzi & creek both share one rock foundation

dawn’s red clouds conform to their own reflections;
cold water currents consent to the channel’s scar

it’s easy to weep like Yang Zhu lost at a crossroads;
it’s hard to summon back Qu Yuan’s drifting soul

come evening, wind & big waves—unsettled too,
I ship oars to make for night’s lodging; but where?

Based on Du Fu: 秋清
qiū qīng

Yang Zhu:  A philosopher from the Warring States period who lived 440-360 BCE. Yang’s philosophy centers on the good of the self, & was an alternative view to Confucianism & Mohism, which subordinated the good of the self to the universal good. A famous anecdote about Yang Zhu is that he wept at a crossroads because he realized the proliferation of choices implied by following one fork in a road & not another.

Qu Yuan: A poet from the Warring States period who lived during the late 4th & early 3rd centuries BCE. Many poems from the Cuci, or Songs of Chu anthology are ascribed to him, though there is controversy about how many he actually wrote. However, he is generally accepted as author of the “Li Sao”, or “Encountering Sorrow” (see illustration).

Qu Yuan was exiled during a period of turmoil, & finally committed ritual suicide by throwing himself into the Miluo River in Hunan province. It was said that certain shamanistic poems were originally incantations to summon Qu Yuan’s soul back from the dead; it’s relevant to Du Fu’s situation that these incantations were calling the soul back from “the south.”

Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
‘Two pages from "Li sao" from a 1645 illustrated copy of the Chuci, showing the poem "Li Sao", with its name being enhanced by the addition of the character 經 (jing), which is usually only so used in the case of referring to one of the Chinese Classics’: photo & cropping by Wiki user White whirlwind (link to his user page is dead), who makes it available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

facing night

facing night

a drainage ditch outside a lonely city:
river village amid turbulent waters

deep in the mountains, winter daylight’s cut short
majestic trees alter in the lofty winds

cranes descend under clouds toward the nearby shoal
chickens settle, sharing our thatched roof

my qin & books scattered in bright candlelight—
through the long night, I ready myself for the end

Jack Hayes
© 2016
based on Du Fu:
xiàng xī

Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
“A picture of the guqin Lingfeng Shenyun (靈峰神韻) in the Zhongni form”: photo by CharlieHuang, who makes it available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version & under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The guqin is the contemporary name of the instrument Du called 琴, that is the qin.  It became known as the guqin during the 20th century simply because a number of instruments were referred to as qin by that time; guqin simply means ancient qin. It’s 7-string zither typically tuned to a pentatonic scale, & while often used now for instrumental music, it was used by poets in Classical times as an accompaniment to their poems. 

For some idea of what that could sound like, here’s a link to musician Yuan Jung-ping accompanying his performance of a Song Dynasty poem on the qin. & for really detailed information about the qin, you can check out the website of qin master John Thompson at this link.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

clear autumn

clear autumn


at autumn’s peak, my asthma improves:
I can comb my white hair myself

I hate taking medicine, the doses changing;
sweeping up the gloom in the stifling courtard—

on a goosefoot cane, & still more guests pay respects;
they adore the strong bamboo: my son fetches poems

this tenth month the great river runs smooth:
a light boat could carry me anywhere

Jack Hayes
© 2016
based on Du Fu:
qiū qīng

Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
“Bamboo”: Xu Wei, Ming Dynasty, ink on paper
Public domain

There are two lines in the poem where a subtle meaning would be apparent to a Chinese reader—especially a reader in the Tang Dynasty—but not to an English language reader. First, although Du Fu doesn’t use the character for “bamboo” in line 4, it’s clear that the “gloom” in the courtyard is caused by the obligatory bamboo stand that would be found at any home of a man in his station. The bamboo is not only “gloomy” but “stifling” or “smothering”, a fact contained in a single character, & the latter would be very noticeable to Du Fu, since he suffered from a respiratory ailment.

In line 6, the visitors “adore” the bamboo literally, but just as importantly, there’s a figurative meaning here. There was a cult of bamboo at this time, & it was thought to typify the ideal gentleman—it was strong, upright, & “open-hearted” (often translated as “hollow-hearted”, but I believe that gives the wrong connotation in English. So the visitors adore Du Fu’s own “bamboo”—his gentlemanliness & his resilience in the face of age & illness. Grateful acknowledgement to Sheila Graham-Smith for her research on this topic.

Friday, January 15, 2016

weary night

weary night

a bamboo chill penetrates my bedchamber
feral moonlight fills each nook in the courtyard

heavy dew forms into clear droplets—
a rare star has blazed forth then vanished

in darkness fireflies light up their own flight
resting on the water, birds call each to each

all things within the sphere of the sword & shield:
the sky grieves as clear night dies away

Jack Hayes
© 2016
based on Du Fu:
juàn yè

As always, grateful acknowledgement for the research & editorial help from Sheila Graham-Smith. Sheila’s research clarified both line 4 & line 8, as she built a strong & compelling theory that line 4 referred to the 760 appearance of Halley’s Comet, & that line 8 echoed that by indicating the sky itself was displaying sorrow due to the bloodshed & anarchy associated with the An Lushan rebellion.

Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
Report of Halley's Comet in 240 BC by Chinese astronomers from Sima Qian's Shiji (c. 109 BC-91 BC). "In the 7th year of Emperor Qin Shihuang of the Warring States, a broom star first appeared in the east, then it appeared in the north."
Public Domain

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

wind on the lake

wind on the lake
(to the tune of “complaint against the prince”)

wind descends on the lake: waves swell into the distance;
autumn, & already dusk:
vermilion is rare & but a few fragrances—
the vivid water, the mountains’ color, like someone dear to me:
there are no words for it
this endless fondness

lotus seed cups already ripe: lotus leaves wither,
purified with clear dew—
duckweed  swirls: rushes skirt the shoal;
dozing on sand the gulls & herons don’t even turn their heads—
it seems they too feel bitter about
the one who departed so early

Jack Hayes
© 2016
based on Li Qingzhao:
yuàn wáng sūn

For more information on Li Qingzhao (Wade-Giles: Li Ch'ing-Chao), see, Wikipedia, &

Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
“Rinse Jade Spring beside Li Qingzhao Memorial in Jinan”: Photo by Wiki Media user Gisling, who makes it available under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

Monday, January 11, 2016

snowstorm with porcupine, guitar, & birds

two day snow: quail hunched on the cherry tree’s thin
limbs, cracked corn the only golden object seen
in opaque swirling air
                  & you were happy in that
afternoon silence, aroma of garlic,
lime, cumin, turmeric in the kitchen, three
hands of cribbage in the bedroom—
                  this is what
it could have been: a porcupine had clambered
up the old apple tree in the draw, four
juncos gathering stray
                  seeds on the porch, five
cassin’s finches in a flurry of cerise
umber white striped feathers pecking black
thistle seed six bronze guitar
                  strings breaking the quiet in
chrome resonator reverberation, one
parrot’s green & yellow chatter under the
dragon tree, that
                  Theotokos of Vladimir
wrapped in peperomia pellucida, you were
happy in that rocking chair gazing at dense
air past the galvanized tub’s
                  rosemary; a blue plate’s
seven mandarin orange slices, the lone
porcupine still huddled up the tree far past
the pasture gate
                  no reason to come down yet
no reason to expect this tranquil
whiteness to vanish utterly come
                  muddy April

Jack Hayes
© 2016

Sunday, January 10, 2016

new moon

new moon

light from the slender crescent rising—
a slanting reflection: the Wheel not yet still

scarcely risen above the ancient fortress
already it’s hidden in towering clouds

the Milky Way hasn’t changed its aspect:
above border mountains the air’s chilled—

in the courtyard this season of White Dew
dark eclipses the round chrysanthemum blooms

Jack Hayes
© 2016
based on Du Fu:
chū yuè

Image taken from Wiki Commons
This is an altered (cropped) image based on the file foundat this link.
Nanjing Museum - Embroidery - Chrysanthemum: photo by Wiki Commons user Ecelan, who makes it available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Adaptation is allowed under this license provided the attribution & share-alike requirements are met.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

foreign language sutra

    for Elizabeth

for some it’s the final red peonies blooming in
                autumn beside the concrete steps
for some it’s a pair of black Tony Lama cowboy boots, for

                some it's L'Allegro, for some Il Pensoroso   
for some it’s the cello part in Big Star’s “Blue Moon”
                throbbing behind the heartbroken voice
for some it’s the memory of Silver Surfer comics in a
                grocery store brimming with canned goods

for some it’s dancing barefoot to “Left of the Dial” in a
                living room under the paper airplane mobile
for some it’s a woman her cascading chestnut hair streaked
                green violet maroon, her tourmaline eyes
for some it’s a fragment of Sappho in Greek photocopied &
                tacked to a hallway wall
for some it’s passionate kissing in a park while strangers pass a-
                long under sad magnolias   

but I say you were right when you said that evening on your
                couch with its pink satin pillows
I only knew love as a word—
your reflection in the mirror behind me: what
                I loved best on this dark earth

Jack Hayes
© 2016

Friday, January 8, 2016

ancient air 40

ancient air #40

when hungry the fenghuang won’t peck millet
indeed he eats only cast off white jade—

how should he mix with such rabble as chickens
scrambling & fighting to get a single meal!

mornings on Kunlun he calls from a barrow tree
at dusk he drinks from the Mount Dizhu rapids

returning he follows far off routes over seas
& alone he spends the night in the frosty heavens

but as good luck has it, he runs into Wangzi Jin:
connects with the farthest green cloud fringe—

by his heart’s grace he’ll reach it at Mid-Autumn Fest
taking to the air in endless wonder

Jack Hayes
© 2016
based on Li Bai:
gǔ fēng sì shí

Grateful acknowledgement to Sheila Graham-Smith whose painstaking research was absolutely crucial to this poem, & who is smart enough to conceive of 長歎 as “endless wonder”.

  • Fenghuang is often translated as Phoenix or Chinese Phoenix. However, other than being mythical birds, the Fenghuang really has nothing in common with the Phoenix of Mediterranean myth—no cyle of fiery death & re-birth. Indeed, it’s thought that the Fenghuang is based on a real bird, the crested argus pheasant, or more strictly speaking the Rheinard's Crested Argus. Here’s a link to a minute & 30 second of a great argus calling & displaying. Remarkable! If I came across that bird in the wild I’d be convinced it was a mythic creature too. 
  • Wangzi Jin is a Daoist immortal, who is known for being able to imitate the call of the fenghuang on the sheng, or reed pipe. He is often depicted riding on either a fenghuang or a crane, whose call he is also said to imitate on the sheng. Wangzi Jin is more commonly known as Wangzi Qiao. 
  • Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the major holidays of the Chinese year, & has been so from ancient times to the present day. There are a number of myths associated with the holiday, & Sheila uncovered a lovely myth connecting two lovers, one an immortal, one a mortal, who both can play the song of the fenghuang on the flute & are transported to the celestial realm by a fenghuang at Mid-Autumn.

Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
"A Fenghuang or Chinese phoenix on the roof of the Main Hall of the Mengjia Longshan Temple in Taipei, Taiwan": photo by Wiki Commons user Bernard Gagnon who makes it available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license, as well as under the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

weather report sutra

at the corner bamboo stands thin in 
its galvanized tub
                      white ice sheathes frail
green leaves—people cross the street unsure
steps in crust & slush
                      & puddles casting back
reflected gray feathered clouds no blue
in clear air between
                      on the phone this morning
3,000 miles east that sort of time zone
time travel you spoke
                      about snow falling that
man walking hunched & dogged through it
daily, his head down—
                      you are beyond that: this snow’s
something to talk about & jigsaw puzzle
pieces yellow red white a
                       perplexing flower bed—my first
memory walking with you through the
meadow beyond the Chinese
                      elms the black-eyed Susan
in bloom, the world blossoming, a daisy—
these days when you sob, your
                      breath comes short & indignant—
at the bus stop this afternoon gusts shake
ice from weeping birch:
                      shatters on asphalt at my feet—
raw air, my lungs sting—as you often
remark your window faces the west

Jack Hayes
© 2016

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

ancient air #33

ancient air #33

in the northern sea there exists a gigantic fish
his length must measure one thousand li—

when he breaches he spouts three mountains of snow:
swimming, he swallows one hundred rivers of water—

he rides roughshod over the shipping lanes—
then radiant breathtaking he takes to the air

I watch him scour the heavens in his flight:
90,000 li & not a sign of stopping

Jack Hayes
© 2016
based on Li Bai:
gǔ fēnɡ sān shí sān

Image links to its source on Wiki Commons
The first two sentences of Zhuangzi: Gōga Doi, a 19th century calligrapher
Public Domain

The first two sentences of the Zhuangzi read as follows: “IN THE NORTHERN DARKNESS there is a fish and his name is K'un. The K'un is so huge I don't know how many thousand li he measures.” The opening passage is all relevant to the poem & goes on to state: “He changes and becomes a bird whose name is P'eng. The back of the P'eng measures I don't know how many thousand li across and, when he rises up and flies off, his wings are like clouds all over the sky. When the sea begins to move, this bird sets off for the southern darkness, which is the Lake of Heaven.” (Burton Watson translation)

Monday, January 4, 2016

rambutan sutra

late evening kitchen: lime green cutting board,
black handled paring knife: this fruit atavistic,
hirsute, blood-red, a creature scooped up
from a tide pool one drizzly autumn after-
noon, an entire marriage ago—

late December rain descends in silk
threads in a heartsick Chinese lüshi—
within the fruit’s slit husk, this milky
egg encasing an indigestible
pit in fragile pulpy white sweetness—

no one would put anything together like this:
bonds of wedlock, translation without pronouns,
prickly shell, this opaque incongruent core—
today: reading Du Fu’s lament—rain & white birds—
tonight: these rambutans you & you gave me

Jack Hayes
© 2016

For the uninitiated, you can read about the strange & delectable rambutan here.

A lüshi is an 8-line Chinese poetic form.

Sunday, January 3, 2016


two poems

the first

white night: the moon slacks its bowstring—
lamp wick burning low: halfway to sleep

roaring in the mountains: deer are unsettled—
scattering leaves alarm the cicadas

a passing memory: the taste of minced bream—
a longing for a boat in the falling snow

outlandish songs ravage the rising stars:
here at the sky’s edge, sleep deserts me

the second

at the town wall, dusk: a mournful reed whistle—
the village graveyard: birds seldom fly over

soldiers in armor, year upon endless year—
corvée discharged, men return deep in the night

the dark tree holds firm among fallen rocks—
Bright River utterly astounds the border garrison

the Dipper tilts: men look look still further—
slender moon: the magpies do not take flight

Jack Hayes 

© 2016
based on Du Fu:
夜 二首 yè er shǒu

* "Bright River"
明河 is a Chinese term for the Milky Way. Because the light it emits is crucial to the poem, it doesn't work to translate it as "Milky Way" or "galaxy"; those don't create the same "brightness". 

Acknowledgment: Sheila Graham-Smith for her major contributions in research & editing

Image links to its source on Wiki Commons
“The Dunhuang star map of 700 AD. British Library Or.8210/S.3326 Ursa Major, Sagittarius and Capricornus are recognizable. The three colors (white, black and yellow) indicate the schools of astronomy of Shih Shen, Kan Te, and Wu Hsien.”
Public Domain

Friday, January 1, 2016

ascending a tower in Xianyang prefecture watching the rain

ascending a tower in Xianyang prefecture watching the rain

upheaval of clouds rising like beasts above the mountains:
drizzle & wind & Wei River running full & high

sunlight’s spent, the sky misty, nothing can be distinguished;
only wild geese in V formation flying: script endlessly linked

Jack Hayes
© 2015
based on Wei Zhuang:
dēng xiányáng xiàn lóu wàng yŭ

Image links to its source on Wiki Commons
Unreconstructed Terracotta Army soldiers: by Wiki user Ovedc , who makes it available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license