Tuesday, December 22, 2015

winter solstice

winter solstice

year after year on the solstice festival
                                       always a wanderer
day after day dead broke & careworn:
                                        buried alive in mud

my face reflected in this river:
                                        aging alone in a land
at sky’s edge among aliens & their customs
                                        far from kinfolk & ancestors

taking my goosefoot cane to trudge through
                                       snow in cinnabar gully;
jade ringing for morning court, sound scatters 
through Zichen Hall

this season there’s not one inch of my heart
my road has strayed: where to find again the
                                       holy threefold capital

Jack Hayes 

© 2015
based on Du Fu:
dōnɡ zhì

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

Image links to its source on Wiki Commons
“Modell av grunden till Hanyuan hall” (“Model of the foundations of Hanyuan Hall”): photo by Wiki Commons user Bairuilong, & is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Hanyuan Hall was one of the “Three Great Halls” in the Tang Daming Palace in Chang’an (modern Xi’an)

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