Poetry Tuesday: Malediction

Japanese anonymous from the 12th century, for those who thought such feelings were a modern occurrence. . .

May he who bade me trust him, but did not come,
Turn into a demon with three horns on his head,
That all men fly from him!
May he become a bird of the waterfields
Where frost, snow, and hail fall,
That his feet may be frozen to ice!
Oh, may he become a weed afloat on a pond!
May he tremble as he walks with the trembling of the hare,
With the trembling of the doe!



Poetry Tuesday: From the Drimeh Kundan

According to research, this is an ancient Indian opera translated into Tibetan. Nobody knows who the original author is, and considering it’s around seven hundred years old, doubt anyone will find out now.
Basically a sweet ode about a mother realizing she had to let her son grow up and conquer the world. Appropriate for upcoming graduation and onward to college.


The Queen wept but thought: It is not appropriate to show such grief; he must go on this long journey. So she wiped away her tears.

My dearest child, now let me speak not to you but for you.
To the beings in the boundless ocean of space surrounding us,
To the conquering Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, the guardians
Of all directions, please listen to my words:
This son of mine is leaving; return him with his present virtue
And in his body. May he be spared acute fatigue as he crosses
Pass and plain; when he lives in the hill Hashang may it become
Palatial; when he eats what trees and plants can give
May he taste a royal nectar; in his thirst may his water become
Forever milk; when he dresses in leaves and sleeps on moss
May he walk in the god’s five-color cloth and lie on silk.
When the wild beasts roar may he hear the music of mantra;
When the rivers roar in their beds of rock, let the sound be
Om Mani Padme Hung; may the daughters of the gods spare him
From the narrow valleys’ heat; and on frightfulness mountain
May all the Buddhas be his companions; when his body burns
With fever, may doctors, like miracles, come with medicine.
Wherever he may live, may he live in delight, may his doings
And his thoughts spread like the wish-fulfilling leaves.
May the two of us soon meet.


Poetry Tuesday: Tantalos

By Paulus Silentiarius, back in the sixth century. (If that translates to Paul Silent, I’m in trouble. . .)

Mouth to mouth joined we lie,
Her naked breasts curved to my fingers,
My fury grazing deep on the silver plain of her throat.
And then, no more.
She denies me her bed.
Half of her body to Love she has given,
Half to Prudence.
I die between.


Poetry Tuesday: Spring Thoughts

Spring Thoughts Sent to Tzu-An, to be precise, by Ya Hsuan-chi, all the way back in ninth century China.

The mountain road is steep, the stone steps are dangerous;
The hard climb hurts me less than thoughts of you.

Ice melts in a far stream: your voice in its sad tune.
Snow on cold peaks like jade reminds me of you.

Don’t listen to the singers, springsick with wine.
Don’t call your guests to play chess at night.

Like pine or stone our promise stays,
So I can wait for paired wings to join.

I walk alone in the cold end of winter.
Perhaps we’ll meet when the moon is round.

What can I give my absent man?
In the pure light, my tears fall: a poem.


Poetry Tuesday: When She Walks By Here

Francesco Petrarch, somewhen in the fourteenth century.

When she walks by here
The grass bends down, the gentle flowers.
The mark of her foot remains in the damp ground beside water.

You have known her, the slenderness of trees.
Young green branches: making a shadowy wood
The sun breaks with its narrow shafts of gold smoke.

River, that has become her face, takes fire
Looking at me; fire from the sun has washed her.

The stones themselves are burning in my shadow.


Poetry Tuesday: Alba, With a Refrain From the Provincal

Tenth century, totally anonymous.

Two shadows now, north from the translucent
moon, from the unrisen sun west,
watcher cries warning to the unwary:
Dawn whitens over a dark sea,
leans across the hills: the light! The light!

Day lies in ambush for the unwakeful
for the sleepers to destroy them
to whom the watcher cries warning still:
Dawn whitens over a dark sea,
leans across the hills: the light! The light!

The wind blows chillier from Arcturus.
The stars gutter, dwindling toward the pole.
The Great Bear lumbers east and east.
Dawn whitens over a dark sea,
leans across the hills: the light! The light!