what I'm reading: Cold Mountain Poems

J.P. Seaton's translation of zen poems of Han Shan, Shih Te, and Wang Fan-chih continues to be one of my favorite books of poetry. Just now I opened "Cold Mountain" while sipping a cup of Anhui Yellow tea and read the following two poems, both exquisite:

 

Cold Mountain Poems, translated by J.P. Seaton

Cold Mountain Poems, translated by J.P. Seaton

XXXIII

Green water in the stream in the pass,
white water risen from the clear-welling spring...
Han Shan's moon's a flower, white as well...
So the darkest secret, the spirit by itself illumines:
gaze into the emptiness: to the ends of earth...
You're alone, with all within.

 

XXXIV

I have all the vestment I will ever need...
not gauzy silk nor twill,
and if you ask about the color,
neither red, nor purple...
In the summer it's light as wings;
in the winter it's my quilt.
Winter or summer, of use in both...
Year upon year, just this.