Dreams of the Tang Dynasty #1

#1
The moon shines like a phosphorescent pearl,
Washing the pines and water in a silver glow.
I’ve walked this wooded path many nights;
Singing songs to the heavenly river above
About this earthly river below.
Sitting on my favorite rock,
I write these words with water on stone,
“How many years do I have left?
Does any man know?”
And like a dream,
I watch the words evaporate
Up into the void of the sky.
AD 889

– 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

I Came To The Ocean

I came to the ocean to get away
But she burns my skin and burns my eyes.
I came to her to get some rest,
But I find that I am restless.
I find my mind wandering to my woods –
Wandering back to the cool waters of my river.
The ocean waves whisper in through my windows,
But my river already won my heart with silence.

The Prophet and The Wilderness

I watch the people as they pass by my island
Not one stops to look out on the water,
Not one puts even a foot in,
And that’s all fine and well,
But I wonder quite distantly,
What meaning do they find in life?

………

When I am alone in the woods,
I am not alone,
I think of the caves
And canyons and rivers
That Elijah sat in,
Just him and God,
Talking back and forth.
What kind of friendship
Did they form
In those desolate hours
That made God sweep him
Off the face of the earth
In a chariot of wind and fire.

My Shadow Of Eden

Which do I long for more?
Which do I want to hear,
Standing in the woods alone,
The music of man,
Or the music of nature?

I know not.
I thank God for music all the same,
And I long for you, my love,
To hear, to see, to feel,
What I, in this moment, do.

To know, more than ever,
What Eden might have been,
To see what Adam might have seen,
To experience a shadow,
Of how Adam might have known God.

These trees,
Are the trees of life.
This river,
Water for my soul.
And you… You are my Eve.

I wish you were here,
To walk with me,
To talk with me,
And I wish I could embrace you,
The way these woods are embracing me.

All Photos Belong To Dean Marais