Reading again these Chinese verses
I see the moon reflected among bamboos
and night-fowl sounds again caress my ears.
We drank to the stars and friendship warmed by wine,
the harsh tongues came back to me in Europe
with the noise of cars, too many people and no mountains.
Small comfort that in your ancient market
only one man looked up at the hills.
There is no time and what is memory ?
so translated the tall gate's inscription.
The ripples of the sea were waves below us
yet the junks lay still among such billows.
Now they have built a road to the monastery
busses bring pilgrims too lazy
to walk the winding steps to the silent peak
Writing in characters with a brush
an old man sighed for the soldiers marching out.
Still the soldiers are marching out -
and as before - never to return.
There's blood on the bamboo screen
yet the quiet wind still unfolds.
On oily water at the sea's edge
the dead gulls rise and fall.
Soon there will be no more mountains
no forests or frosts, no clear lakes
or virgin islands, no seas unclean,
no silence hiding the Tiger's eye--
In steel and concrete deserts
there will be the sound of furious voices
establishing brief personal palaces
for thirty years of vainglorious life.
Where will the quiet wind then unfold ?