Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #6

#6 For Yu
Gone now three long years
My nights are long and cold without her.
Executed at twenty six years of age,
What cruelty to befall such beauty.
Some blossoms fall from the tree when the time is right
Others are cut down violently and trampled.
Chang’An has become as dark as a moonless night,
The city in which we once made love.
All these years of heartbreak,
Has turned my hair grey before its time.
AD 871

龙火花 Long HuoHua

Born Approx AD820 – Died AD895
Timeline Of Major Events During Long’s Life:

AD840 – Earliest known poems by Long
841 – Yu XuanJi is Born
846 – Bai JuYi dies
848 – Emperor Wuzong persecutes Buddhists, Shuts down temples across empire.
858 – Major flood killing tens of thousands (including Long’s childhood love) destabilizing dynasty
863 – Long Starts affair with Yu XuanJi
866 – Long gets sent on official duty to Chongqing
867 – Yu XuanJi is Executed
875 – Huang Chao’s Rebellion
881 – Huang Chao Captures Chang’An
883 – Capitol retaken, Huang Chao Rebellion Ends
883 – Tang Dynasty Starts Decline
895 – Long HuoHua Dies
AD907 – Tang Dynasty Falls

Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #5

#5 For Yu
I sit on top of Old Pine Mountain
Chanting her beautiful words.
The only thing sweeter than her mouth
And more intoxicating than her wine
Was the sound of her voice reciting DuFu.
For many years I thought
The last great poetry died with Bai Juyi,
But she could conquer any man
With the ink of her calligraphy
And with a glance from her eyes.
AD 869

龙火花 Long HuoHua

Born Approx AD820 – Died AD895
Timeline Of Major Events During Long’s Life:

AD840 – Earliest known poems by Long
841 – Yu XuanJi is Born
846 – Bai JuYi dies
848 – Emperor Wuzong persecutes Buddhists, Shuts down temples across empire.
858 – Major flood killing tens of thousands (including Long’s childhood love) destabilizing dynasty
863 – Long Starts affair with Yu XuanJi
866 – Long gets sent on official duty to Chongqing
867 – Yu XuanJi is Executed
875 – Huang Chao’s Rebellion
881 – Huang Chao Captures Chang’An
883 – Capitol retaken, Huang Chao Rebellion Ends
883 – Tang Dynasty Starts Decline
895 – Long HuoHua Dies
AD907 – Tang Dynasty Falls

Lord Byron – Stanzas To The Po

Stanzas To The Po

River, that rollest by the ancient walls,
Where dwells the lady of my love, when she
Walks by thy brink, and there perchance recalls
A faint and fleeting memory of me;

What if thy deep and ample stream should be
A mirror of my heart, where she may read
The thousand thoughts I now betray to thee,
Wild as thy wave, and headlong as thy speed!

What do I say -a mirror of my heart?
Are not thy waters sweeping, dark, and strong?
Such as my feelings were and are, thou art;
And such as thou art were my passions long.

Time may have somewhat tamed them, -not for ever;
Thou overflow’st thy banks, and not for aye
The bosom overboils, congenial river!
Thy floods subside, and mine have sunk away.

But left long wrecks behind, and now again,
Born in our old unchanged career, we move;
Thou tendest wildly onwards to the main,
And I -to loving one I should not love.

The current I behold will sweep beneath
Her native walls and murmur at her feet;
Her eyes will look on thee, when she shall breathe
The twilight air, unharmed by summer’s heat.

She will look on thee, -I have looked on thee,
Full of that thought; and, from that moment, ne’er
Thy waters could I dream of, name, or see,
Without the inseparable sigh for her!

Her bright eyes will be imaged in thy stream, –
Yes! they will meet the wave I gaze on now:
Mine cannot witness, even in a dream,
That happy wave repass me in its flow!

The wave that bears my tears returns no more:
Will she return by whom that wave shall sweep?
Both tread thy banks, both wander on thy shore,
I by thy source, she by the dark-blue deep.

But that which keepeth us apart is not
Distance, nor depth of wave, nor space of earth,
But the distraction of a various lot,
As various as the climates of our birth.

A stranger loves the lady of the land,
Born far beyond the mountains, but his blood
Is all meridian, as if never fanned
By the black wind that chills the polar flood.

My blood is all meridian; were it not,
I had not left my clime, nor should I be,
In spite of tortures, ne’er to be forgot,
A slave again of love, -at least of thee.

‘Tis vain to struggle -let me perish young –
Live as I lived, and love as I have loved;
To dust if I return, from dust I sprung,
And then, at least, my heart can ne’er be moved.

Lord George Gordon Byron

Flux

How many mornings –
How many hours –
Will you spend
Sitting on your floor
Surrounded by books
In spiritual anguish?
Unable to ingest a single word
Rocking back and forth
From the pain of separation.
How long will you spend
Trying to break down the walls you’ve built?
When will you understand?
When will your understanding lead to change?
Or are you going to spend
The rest of your life
In continuous flux?

The Night Is Full Of Storm Clouds

The night is full of storm clouds.
Overhead the wild geese are frightened,
And cry out with anxiety in the murky darkness.
The ice hills are covered with dense fog.
The only thing visible
Is a beautiful shadow on a gleaming gauze window curtain.
Above the clouds the white moon is cold.
Under the clouds the storm wind is cold.
Heart full of sorrow,
Tears dried up with sorrow,
The unbearable sorrow,
Of a heart filled with love –
How can I go on under the beating storm of my thoughts?

-T’ao Tung Ming

Like Basho In The Rain

I’m alot like that ancient man, Job.
Except that I am in no way righteous,
And I know nothing of suffering as he did.
But I do yell at the heavens
In futility
Like Basho in the rain.
Why does evil prosper
While goodness diminishes every day?
“Who are you,” God answers back, “to question me?
Justice will come in a flash of fire
And all will pay for what they have done.”

Darwin

A man loses his family in a high speed accident,
No tragedy here.
A woman gets raped in a brothel,
No tragedy here.
A baby has scissors shoved into its skull by a doctor,
No tragedy here.

Science declares,
It’s just matter in motion.

Insomnia – Lu Yu

Even when I fall asleep early,
My nights are long and full of bitterness.
Tonight, tortured with insomnia,
Memories of the past flood back
Until they have exhausted me.
Alone in the house beside a smokey lamp,
I rub my heavy eyelids
And idly turn the pages of my notebook.
Again and again I scratch my head
And trim my brush and stir the heavy ink.
The hours go by. The moon comes
And stands in the open door,
White and shining like molten silver.
Suddenly I am back, sailing on Ts’ai Fong River
With the fellows of my youth,
Back in Yuen village.
Oh wonderful mountains! Oh noble boys!
How is it that I have lived so long
And never once gone back to visit you?
-Lu Yu

Translated by Kenneth Rexroth

Music is Spiritual

Turn up the volume and let it move over you.

Bar Scene

Yumeji – In The Mood For Love

Awakening

Sunshine

Nothing Else

XLIII
Two flowers in a letter
The moon sinks into the far off hills.
Dew drenches the bamboo grass.
I wait.
Crickets sing all night in the pine tree
At midnight the temple bells ring.
Wild geese fly overhead.
Nothing else.
-Marichiko

LI
Did you take me because you loved me?
Did you take me without love?
Or did you just take me
To experiment on my heart?
-Marichiko

A Drawing of How I Imagine Her

Looking Back: 12 Months of Poetry

Here are Poems that I wrote in the last 12 months or so (not as many poems as you may think) and have been in posts on this blog and on facebook. So for those of you that haven’t read my poetry, here is a ton of it in one place to get a feel. Those that have, I assume you enjoy reading it or you wouldn’t be here, so I hope some of it is new to you that you may have missed.Some are titled, some are not uniformity doesn’t really matter does it? If a poem isn’t doing it for you move on to the next, if several don’t maybe my poetry isn’t for you =)

Enjoy (at least the cynics will.)

Scarlett

It’s been said
That I am a romantic
And this, from time to time, may be true
But tonight
I am a cynic
I am Bukowski
Driving around Los Angeles in the rain
With tears in his eyes
And a broken heart
Searching
Searching
But it’s hard to find anything
When it’s always dark
And always raining

Like Atlas

Every time I go it alone
I end up on my knees
Crawling helplessly through the night
Looking for my bed
Where I can brace myself
And whisper words
Toward my heart
Toward the sky
Toward Jerusalem
Whispers of desperation.
I foolishly act like Atlas at times
But I am just a man
And the burden is always to much to bare
I need a divine hand

The Wild Within

You are like the wild
Dangerous and vast
And I wish to get lost in you.
You are a river
That flows around my heart
You sweep me away
You make the banks of my heart
Spring forth with life
And in the wild
Or within you
My head and my heart
Are made new.

…….

Every heart broken coldly,
Every love trampled upon,
Every infidelity,
Every hurtful word,
Every little stab taken,
At the divine dignity of humanity
Is all just a prelude
To the end of the age.
And the end will come upon us
Swiftly and unexpectedly
Because we have forgotten
How to love one another
The way that God had first loved us.

…….

The young girls of today live in a world
Where the odds are stacked against them.
The world stands waiting to devour them.
From pornography, to diets, to abortion, to T.V.
They are forced and molded into pre-packaged commodities,
And those that aren’t are thrown out,
Discarded,
Disowned.
By fourteen years of age
Boys expect them to perform like pornstars,
And by eighteen they have become them.
All the while, modern society wonders,
“Where did true love go?”
Did it ever exist?
Does it go by another name?
But the truth is,
Society has fucked true love into oblivion.
And only the few who stand in contrast
Ever have a chance of finding it.
What chance does innocence have
In a world consumed with hunger and guilt?
Babies produced to be pop stars,
And pop stars produced to make greedy men rich.

……

God created each of us,
Even the most dysfunctional,
More beautiful than the universe itself.
All people were made beautiful,
It is us who have made them ugly.
It is us who have deemed some
More worthy than others.
And us who have destroyed the world we live in.
Suffering is man made.
Inequality, racism, genocide – man made.
We are the mediums used
In the dark arts of the occult.
We are a beautiful painting,
Covered in the ash of a great inferno,
Waiting for the waters of redemption
To put out the fire
And wash the canvas clean once again.

…….

What chance does beauty have
In a world full of darkness and fire?
Beauty, fragile like a flower
Stands defenseless and alone,
And the dark
Ravenously pursues her.
Waiting to tear away her innocence
Waiting to crush her spirit.
Who might stand up to the inferno?
Who might pluck her from this night,
And plant her back down
In a fortress of peace and love?

On: The Existence Of God

You say my sweet
That you can’t see
But God is love
And I love thee

My Love, I Long For Thee!

My Love, I long for Thee!
Thou art The Guide of history
Thou art the champion of my soul
And renewer of my heart.
Thou art the Truth
In which I long to dwell.
Thou art the Air
That causes my lungs to swell.

I can be,
Because Thou art.
And I am naught
Without Thee!

Oh Lover of my soul!
Defeater of death,
The Life in every breath,
May I always walk in thy light,
And finish strong thy good fight!

That Is Grace

I long for rest
I wish to be alone with You
To sit with You and the sea.
You are my heart’s desire.
Though I am a whore,
Spreading my love amongst petty nothings,
You continue to love me fully.
You call my name,
And I constantly turn away,
For I can’t bear to show my face.
Yet You tell me
“That is grace!”
This world keeps trying to drown me,
And I keep on trying to climb out
Of this poison reservoir,
But the arms of darkness grip me tight.
I need Your might!
I am weary
And long for solace!
I long for it to be,
You and me,
And the spray filled sea.

Broken Bones
Broken bones don’t hurt
Like a broken heart.

Self Righteous
Standing outside the clubs
These people think they are the shit
And I want to tell them
They are…
They really are,
The shit.
But I am tired of being the cynic
So I keep my thoughts to myself

True Lonliness
Dignity
Lost to bluntness and desperation
“Is there a chance I’d get laid tonight?”
He asks her.
Awkwardness surrounds
And I just sit and stare
Quietly in disbelief
Of his desperate attempts.

The World
Television
Sleep
Alcohol
Bills
Gasoline
People I meet,
All cheat
All steal
All tear and destroy
The passions that’s within me

Tell me…
How does a passionate man
Make it through
This modern life?

The Heart Of Man
There’s a blackness in the hearts of men
An urge to bloody our swords
To kill one another and betray our friends
A blackness that pervades history
A mar on the face of the universe
A black hole larger than any dead star
The size of God, absent within us.
A black hole which consumes all it can
All the alcohol, the sex, the broken beauty of nature
And yet it only grows larger till it consumes
Our soul, and from there, the world.

Self Pity
On this dark night
It’s as though all the violence
Of nature and man
Came solely from my own heart.
O Sorrow!
Deep rooted sorrow!
Bring forth the tears of frustration and hurt
Make wet the ground you stand on
Till the mire takes hold and pulls you down
I’ve reached my limit
I am not Christ!
I hate the world
Everything and everyone
My love is not unlimited!
My forgiveness is all dried up!
I hate the world,
But I hate myself more.

……

This temporary sorrow
Cannot find me
When I am with You.
When I sit by Your river,
In the light of Your sun,
In the whispers of Your breeze.
I am free to be content,
Free to smile.
Leaving man’s world,
And entering into Yours,
A taste of Heaven.

……

What magnificence there is to life
Not just intelligent beings
But even the silent life
From grass to the tallest trees
So simple, but so complex
The way they cling to the earth
Soaking in its nutrients.
The oak tree cares not
For philosophy or politics or the frivolous things of man.
The oak tree cares not
And within that there is a beauty.
It is alive
It lives for summer and spring
And sleeps in the winter.
It has character in its branches
And kindness in its shade
Hints of a premeditated design
As though it were created to shade lovers on a summer day
And yet
Whether in the park or in the wild
It sits in magnificence
As a monument to someone greater than man.

……

Thoreau had it right
Peace in the midst of turmoil
God’s presence clearly felt
In the cathedral of His creation.
Away from the darkness of men.
For when he stood against the machine
All they could do was imprison him
Where else could God’s word
Sink deep
But away from the world in solitude and silence
Just God, the pond, and His peculiar little geese

……

The people I see along the river
I would judge harshly
If I saw them on the street
But here, they are the same as me
And it is clear,
We all need solace and silence.
Not a word is ever spoken
Except a rare and polite hello.
The world makes you self righteous
But here we experience our equality
Unless of course
I see someone throw something in the river,
Then I am all fire and brimstone
And wish the worst on them
Until love brings me back.

……

Supernatural
This word implies there is more to what we are
Something more natural than our current state.
As though our senses have been dulled
A natural state with a connection between mind and heart
That has been lost
The bridge has been swept away.
The further we stroll from God
The more open we are to oppression
From an enemy we can no longer see
Except in the darkness
And man’s predicament grows worse
With light almost absent from the world
Apart from where Christ lives.
The strong eat the weak
And the image of God is blurred,
Replaced by ugliness, darkness, and hate
And value of men’s lives become worthless,
Innocence is lost
And war reigns.

……

You’ve taken root deep within,
And you are growing like wildflowers
In my heart.
The prairies are covered with your beauty,
And I am always longing,
To be covered by it as well.

…….

If the weight of what’s been lost
Outweighs the weight of glory
Then what we’ve gained
Is greater
Than the splendor of all the stars
In the consuming sky above me.

…….

It is a planet of sorrows that we inhabit
Where everyday men kill themselves,
And everyday, men kill each other.
Some in the most fallen and literal way,
Others in  more subtle and devastating ways
Deep within the abandoned temples of their hearts.
If Adam only knew what he was about to do to his children
Maybe we’d have been spared the pain.
The future brings hope, and hope brings joy,
But the present is full of bitter fruit
The spoils of Eden lost
And it sours in my stomach.
My heart yearns and my heart overflows
For what I’ve only seen shadows of
And until redemption comes
My pen shall move in search of peace
And tears shall stain these pages.

……

Madness!
All of life is madness!
All of life is sorrow,
If this is all of life.
If when our flames go out
Its just darkness,
Madness, not reason!
Madness and sorrow
For there’d be no tomorrow.

……

Violent sparks burn inside my torso
Hints of spring enrage the inferno
Drunk on life and the eternal summer sun
I’ve stopped living just to have fun.
This desire is etched into my spirit
A longing for freedom and meaning
Amidst the directionless and dying
The cynics rule the night
But hope wins with daylight.
Don’t give me man made philosophy
Its just endless people who disagree.
Don’t give me science
Its just unreasonable beings trying to think reasonably.
Give me faith,
And you think me mindless
But it’s the only true fire
Which engulfs me.
When I walk from the fire,
Sorrow painfully turns me back
And I wonder if I ever knew
What life really was in the cold dead world
Before His sacrifice gave me God
And God gave me life…

……

People would die for pleasure
Before they would die for truth
And it’s exhausting
All this apathy
All the innocence lost to pettiness
And beauty replaced with emptiness.
I’m looking for the source
Of all the shadows.
I have no more tears
To shed for darkness
And no more time to give

……

Teacher! Teacher!
Listen to me!
Isn’t this what you want to hear?
Isn’t this what you want to see?
My thoughts are not my own,
But my words are.
Indoctrinate me!
And I will tell you what you want to hear
Regurgitate the propaganda
And find no peace
Because the truth continues to torment
Those who live in lies
And foolishness fills my days.

……

America was built by savages
Or so the scholars say.
Look at all the blood!
Tasteless, cynical critics
Unable to see
We’ve been up to our noses in blood
Since Cain killed Abel.
The world is drenched in it,
Yet no man has been freer
And no dream by foolish mortal men
Has ever been grander than this liberty
Til all the world comes to an end
No greater country will there be
Than this land of the free.

……

He gave us eyes
So we could comprehend color,
He gave us hearts
So we could see beauty,
He gave us the stars
So we’d know His greatness,
He gave us music and canvas
So we’d create portraits of our souls
And pictures of how our souls see the world.
He gave us all His love
So we’d know He’s real
And He gave me you
So through our love
You’d know it too.

……

Sometimes these words
Are the words of a madman.
Maybe since our fall
We are all a little mad.
And the only way to stay sane
Is to realize
It’s not about cars,
It’s not about sex,
It’s not about science,
Or the pursuit of our “rights.”
And they dismiss order
To embrace dysfunction
And live as though they won’t die
But they always do
And I will too.

My Heart

My heart is in Carolina.
Where do I go
If my heart is not with me?
A part of me is missing.
I feel as though
It’s a struggle to get through the week.
Where is she?
Flying over Mississippi
New York,
Or Tennessee?

Water

Water
Always in my dreams
Crashing through the walls
To take me from my love
And sweep me out to sea.
Love and water
Standing on the shore
With lightning on the horizon
And wind in her hair
With quiet smiles in the sand
And a longing in her heart
But the water
Always there
Before I wake.

The Rocks Of Heaven

The sun beats down
Upon the rocks of heaven.
The water flows through the center of Eden
But I have no desire to hide.
I’ve longed for this
Though it is still shadows
If only I could open my eyes
To see what’s truly there.
So close to God
And yet so far.

Fighting

What is this world
That men have to spend their whole lives
Fighting and then dying
For one ray of sunshine
For a slight glimpse of justice?

Outrage

Lets get outraged
Lets get together and talk about injustice
Lets all yell and be angry
But don’t ask us to take action
Don’t ask us to do something
My outrage excuses me
From having to fight

………

I can see the smoke of civilization
Rising just off on the horizon,
Black smoke,
And though it rains all day
The fires don’t go out.
Yet all the smoke is on the horizon,
It is still a ways out.
Don’t bother trying to evacuate
Don’t go back inside to get your things
It will be here soon
And you won’t escape it.
Prepare yourself to the depths
Because in the end
The depths are the only thing
That you’re going to have left.

………

The cosmos
Had a beginning
But they exude subtle references
That point toward a sense
Of Eternity.
A timelessness within time
As though they had been before
Trapped or stored in the back of your mind
Like a painting finally painted.
Divine scarring in our spirit
That lets us know the answer
is discoverable,
For it was once our pleasure
Once within the palm of our
Spiritual hand.

………

Unless you know death,
You can not know life.
Unless you are awake,
You are asleep.
Unless you’ve seen light
You will not know darkness.
And unless you’ve awoken from the dream
You will not know reality.

………

I live
In the darkness of night
With open eyes
And cautious feet
Until the embers burn me
And I awaken
From this dream

………

To say you don’t know God
Is to say you do not know yourself
For He created you.

Out of the rock,
He sculpted your soul.
Out of the water,
He wrote your story.
He took his love
And placed it within your heart.

To say you don’t know God
Is to say you do not know love.
To say you do not know God
Is to say you don’t know anything at all.

………

Are you certain?
What is there to be certain of
If all you draw from
Is the finite faculty of your human mind?
All that is known
Is all that has been revealed.
To say there is not something deeper
To the mysteries of life
Is to say you know all things
And that is where proud men fall.
All have to face the truth
That we are infinitely finite
And all that is known
Is what has been revealed to us by God.
We are,
Because He told us we are,
And we are not
If we are all that there is.

………

What is the point of philosophy,
What is the point of science,
If all we know is mere chaos?
Why do men who mock spirituality
Claim they’re looking
For the reason we are here?
If the universe is chaos,
If all is random,
Then there is no answer.
There is no reason.
In a very real sense
We don’t even exist.
We are but a spark
Ascending from the fire.