Lan Ling (b. 1946)


Wind shakes the grass.
Its upright posture
Is torn apart. A voice awakens
The ashes.
The news is written
On vanishing dew.

It encircles the reeds and flows
Along the two banks of the stream.
The reflection on the water
Has no light.
Suddenly a splash.
The shadow of a face
Descends like night on stone.

Leaning against the wind, he stands.
Grass withers between his brows.
The stars descend into the midnight river,
Emptied by the storm.
He who has never worn shoes
Has gone far away but is still inaudibly near.

               (translated by Kenneth Rexroth & Ling Chung)

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Revised: February 11, 2000