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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

心中迷 - Confused Heart

花香月影小提琴, Amidst the fragrant flowers, a moonlight shadow playing the violin,
絃聲愁過夜鶯啼. The strings sadder than a nightingale's song.
知音何時散入夢? When did the voice of my intimate friend diffuse into my dreams?
清風掃解心中迷. The gentle breeze sweeping away the knots of my confused heart.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Your Morphean World

The sun is seen no more in the horizon.  It is now quiet and peaceful; just a warm breeze caressing the tree tops. Within another hour or so, this darkening sky will turn into a vault of twinkling stars, transporting you to the land of dreams.  Like an orphan, you have no choice but to follow the voice that is beckoning you from the dark.  Slowly but surely, your eyelids began to droop and finally closed.  

The silence swirling in the darkness will bring you hope and joy.  In this Morphean world, you are neither lost nor to be found.  Until the first rays of the sun kiss you awake, releasing you from your Sleeping Beauty spell, you renew as the new day cometh presenting you new challenges and opportunities.  They await like your handmaidens. So command them well.

Based on someone's imagery.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sweet Mutterings

花間甜言蜜語是最好聽的一首歌曲. 但對於一些人來說, 是最難入耳, 甚至會感覺到心寒. 是歌是懼, 那就看你的數了. 年輕天真的十六, 不如經歷過狂風暴雨的失戀者. 甜言蜜語, 是真是偽, 唯有時間知曉.

辨材須待七年期 - 白居易, 放言五首之三部份

Sweet mutterings amidst the flowers is the most melodious song.  However to some, it is the most difficult thing to hear.  Even it may make the heart grows cold in fright.  Whether a song or fear depends on one's age.  Young is the naive sweet sixteen, unlike those who had been jilted tumultuously.  Sweet mutterings, whether real or false, only time will tell.

To you I bestow a sure way to ease your doubts,
Need no tortoise shell to divine nor yarrow stalks to foretell.
Three days are needed to test if it is jade,
And seven years to determine if it is a camphor tree.


Lord Chou is afraid of the day when rumours spread,
Wang Mang courteous and respectful before his usurpation.
If one dies before his time,
Then neither truth or falsity will be known.

Friday, June 14, 2013

後庭花 - 幽魂張麗華 - Courtyard Flower, The Soul of Chang Li Hua

夏天永在此, 四周蜂蝶花香. 苑中無處不迎人. 微風柳垂, 陽光滿灑身上暖. 何人不歡樂? 苑中一人世界, 時刻在此停流, 不如世外窅然去. 此地非仙界, 只是一魂心緒靜.

見境觸情,一聲一色無限貴, 花雖香, 蝶雖麗, 難補心中缺. 天籟雖悠揚, 但不如知音勝. 獨舞瀛臺上, 迎風兩袖飛. 徘徊當時青絲七尺長, 享盡人間榮華富貴. 臨春, 結綺, 望仙一霎烟水閑. 莫怪他人妬我倩, 只恨此迷魂顏. 我非妲己, 高熲非子牙.  幽魂永不歇.

此地非仙界, 亦非一魂心緒靜. 千秋綿綿悔, 永鎖於此後庭地獄間.

Summers are forever here.  Everywhere there are bees, butterflies and fragrant flowers.  Nary a place in this garden not a welcome sight.  Gentle breeze blows and willows sway.  Gorgeous sunlight embracing me in warmth.  How could not anyone not be in joy? In this garden, a world of only one.  Time stops still here, unlike those of the outside world slipping by.  This place, not a fairyland, just a place of one soul's quietude.

As I look at these sights, each sound, each color ever so precious.  Though the flowers are fragrant; though the butterflies beautiful; they hardly fill my empty heart. The sounds of nature may be haunting, they do not know me well. Alone I dance on the Ocean Terrace; my two long sleeves billowing in the wind.  Dithering here and hesitating there, I remember the yesterdays; my hair of seven feet long.  A luxurious life I did partake.  Where are the pavilions of Approaching Spring, Beauty Forming and  Immortals Peering now?  All disappeared like fleeting whimpering in the vanishing mists.  Blame not the jealousy of others over my peerless beauty.  I hate this soul-snatching face of mine. I am no Daji and you sir, Gao Jion is no Tzu Ya! My eternal lonely soul cannot rest.

This place, not a fairyland, neither a place of one soul's solitude.  A thousand years' regret, eternally locked in this courtyard of Hades.

Inspired by the song Enchantment

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bygone Dreams

The heavy hand of Allah,
Shifting the burning sands of the Sahara.
Where now, is the great Temple of Ishtar?
A thousand years of glory –
Just a twinkle of the eternal stars!
Mighty forests once lushed with life in green
Spreading afar…
Are now but underground tar!
28 Jul 94
This poem was inspired by the CD "All One Tribe" by Scott Fitzgerald.  Heavy in drum beat, it evokes a sense of the shifting desert sands, together with the wailing in the background, paints a Middle Eastern Image influenced by a haunting melody of a western touch.

Midnight Hunt

Ride into the deepest night,
Thunderous clouds gather in fright.
Swifter than the midnight wind,
Demon rider flashing in evil grin.

Hell hounds and headless horse,
On a hunt with no pause.
Flee as fast as you can,
In pain, in torment you ran.


Little white hare look not back,
Just hear the whip goes whack, whack, whack.
Till the day you are behind,
Only then will peace and rest you find.

Who will be the brave one?
So forever, you must run, run, run!


Power leaping dangerously from my reins,
Blind love surging frantically in my veins.
Swifter than the midnight wind,
Desperate lover on needles and pins.

On my white horse with golden mane,
Calling out your name in vain.
Just hear my tears go drip, drip, drip.

Till the day you’re in my embrace,
The truth you’ll find and face.

Inspired by Right in the Night (and Love the Music) by Jam & Spoon.  I misheard the phrase and thought they sang, Ride in the Night.

Based on the Devonshire tale, Midnight Hunt of an old woman who, out of compassion, saved an enchanted hare accidentally from the devil during the eternal midnight hunt.  Only when the hare is behind the hunting pack would the spell be broken and from the basket rose a maiden fair.

The poem is written from three different angles, an outsider, the pursued and the pursuer.

06 Dec 1993

Dreamer's Tales

Dreamer’s Tale

See that little boat,                                         看看那邊小小船
Anchored in the castle moat.                        正在城堡護河泊
Sails spun of dreamers’ tales,                        船帆夢人故織成
That never be shredded by fiercest gales.  永遠不被颱飇撕
Always gleaming on the mast of hope,        桅檣希望不
No more harsh realities to rope.                   再無酷實在拉扯
Leave behind your woes and your cares,    留下懮愁不須顧
See how we will fare…                                   看看此生如何渡
Be my sailor boy!                                            做我一個水手童!
In make-believe we will toil.                         此幻我們一定勞.
Laughing and kissing all the way,                 一路含笑親吻聲,
Forever in warm and sunny days.                永遠風和日麗期
So step into that little boat,                         只須踏入那小船
Waiting for us in the castle moat.               護城河中待我們.

04 Apr 1994

Chinese Translation Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Monday, June 3, 2013

What Is Love?

The original version says,

I said this but you said that.
You wanted to fly to the moon to dance but I wanted the pleasures of the lake.
I would like to have Cantonese but you hungered for Middle Eastern.
We are two different creatures.
For exactly twenty years,
Time flies like an arrow,
But we were never apart.
You let me have my way and I also budge.
If this is not love,
Then I know not its name.

The figurative Chinese translation is more natural in its medium to express the same thing.

我論天文, 你却話花間好.
你欲飛天奔月舞, 我仍留恋於湖間水.
我思食粵菜, 你痕試清真味.

Now translating back into English even in figurative terms...  Same intent but different imagery...

I discourse on the heavens but you insist that the flowery world is better.
You want to fly to the moon and dance but my love is still upon the lake waters.
I think of Cantonese food but you itch to try Muslim.
Two people, two hearts different.
Exactly twenty years,
Not once did we part.
You budge a step
I retreated a foot.
If this is not love,
Know not what this thing is between us.