Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #13

#13 Hua Shan
Flower Mountain, beautiful and perilous
How many faithful men have fallen from her face?
Her elegance and danger make my heart race,
Men weren’t meant to scale such peaks.
My prayers are said between heavy breaths,
At a lonely shrine on her western cliffs.
Exhausted, I rest for the night in a hermit’s hut,
Where we drink wild tea and write poems.

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 XinMei) and 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

The World and All Its Petty Offerings

I bask in this simple pleasure
As I have done so many times before.
A cup of earthy tea in my hand
On a patio built forty years ago,
But it is almost as though
It were built for me.
As though this moment were set aside,
A gift.
Vibrant energetic life all around,
Bright, lush, green trees,
Bugs and bees,
The sun making all things shine
And a little bird singing
Just above my head.
Tell me
What in the world
And all its petty offerings
Could compare to this?

How Much Of It Is Vanity

How much of writing is vanity?
How much of it is bullshit?
Which is from experience
And which is pulled from the sky?
How much of writing
Is the gravel burning blisters on your feet
How much of it
Is the stars above the water at 3AM
Or the dark eyed angel in your bed
Or the hot tea cooking your tongue
Or that deep and weary sigh
At the thought of going in to work
When the sun still has hours left in the sky
And the river still pulls lovingly at your feet

The Sweat of a Restless Heart

Some days I wake up
The sweat of a restless heart
Already formed on my brow.
My love says that I just run hot
But I think sometimes
It comes from my wild thoughts.
I wake and want to sell
Everything I have
And take off into the unknown
Which torments me so.
Why wait for it to come to me,
If I can pursue it immediately?
The world turns with passion
And hurls through space at incredible speed.
Does it make sense that I
Should remain still?
Did God not say – go forth and subdue the earth?
Did He not say be fruitful?
I have not subdued anything
I have produced no fruit.
I sleep and wake and sweat
In the turmoil of inaction.
I have the broken heart of Adam in my chest
But no wild frontier to explore.
Just concrete mazes and digital jungles
Full of tame and dying people
And long nights of running around town
And jumping in rivers just to feel alive.


I find it hard to picture old age.
My own, that is.
I’ve seen many withered souls,
But at 25
The world is mine.
I do not claim it
In some modern ambitious sense,
But in the sense that I
Can approach the waterfall
And battle the weight of the river
To enter the cave.
I can still climb
To any wild beauty
And only break a sweat.
I can not picture old age
I can not picture my life any other way.


I sit in a coffee shop
Reading poems
By a dirty old bum who knew no love
And I look up to see
Two other men who sit around
Reading novels
With bored tired faces.


Please don’t let me end up like this
All my life dried up
My spark snubbed out
Slouching and defeated
In a cafe seat
With only regret
And a cup of coffee for company