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lament of Liu Ch'e . . . while elsewhere--


by strannikov


Liu Ch'e's lament for Li Furen



in her silk sleeves is silence sheathed.

 

each jade tile sprouts jade dust.

 

in this room soundless cold.

 

leaves in fallen piles bar the door.

 

could her consummate soul hide here?

 

can she hear my heart hold its breath?


 

 = = = = =


grievance from the jade staircase


 

why, look! the jade stairs sprouted pearls hours ago


—half the night gone, my gauze stockings are soaked through!


once home, I lower my glistening reed blinds


the autumn moon the brightest white pearl of dew.


= = = = =


her beautiful toilet


 

grass waves blue by a river blue.


in a willow garden lush shade


drapes dark the young woman's small house


with the lone window, the white door.


the beauty powders her face red


lightly lightly with her white hand.


after the courtesans' house—here,


ignored wife of dissolute lout,


absent, missing dissolute lout


who left behind an empty bed.



= = = = =


 

the friends' leavetaking


 

where the peaks north of town turn blue


from where their white water bends east—


that spot is where we both depart:


one, dry grass blown ten thousand miles,


mind and soul of an aimless cloud,


the other, too sad for sunset.


hands barely get lifted in wave:


two horses neigh, turn heads, take paths.




Endcap