365 Days for Travelers: Aug 13

TUNE OF FALLING RAIN

As cicadas make bitter and sorrowful rattles,
We come to the pavilion late in the evening,
The sudden downpour slowing to a stop.

Beneath the tent set outside the city gate,
No one was in the mood for a drink.
Though reluctant to leave,
The magnolia boat was rushing to sail.

Holding hands,
Looking into each other’s teary eyes,
Silently choking on our words.
The thought of departure,
Away along a thousand miles of misty water;
Though the evening haze was thick,
The Southern sky was vast,
The romantics have long suffered partings,
Not to mention an autumn this cold and lonely.

Where will I wake up sober after tonight?
Perhaps on the bank of willows,
In the morning breeze beneath the setting moon.
It shall be years after this leave.

In the mean time:
Any good times or pleasant views will be a waste.
Even if there were countless sentiments in my mind,
To whom will I be able to confide?

FLYING MAGPIE AT NIGHT

Youth indulged in a web of defilements, who can
break its chains? Thoroughly understand the twelve
links of dependent origination.

Rely also on the Four Noble Truths as a decree,
holding a flower* as the symbol of a heart-to-heart
transmission.

The wondrous sounds of the kalavinka birds** warn
birds of prey that it is difficult to be at ease in a
burning home.

Why endure the Black Sea, giving free reign to the
strong gale and the raksas*** blasting at the boat?

Contemplate the darkness, the illusory nature of
the mind, which rises and falls between heaven and
earth.

Recollect cycling through a thousand kalpas, filled
with desires and disappearing in smoke. The fruit of
an arhat is obtaining non─birth, a trap in disguise.
Wearing off when laxed, it is a secret, a small test on
the first stage of meditation.