Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Two Poems by Lu Tung Pin

When the moon is high I'll take my cane for a walk,
When the wind is cold I'll put on some clothes.
My heart is hidden in thick bamboo groves --
I come home alone leading the white clouds.

*   *   *

Sojourning in Ta-yu mountains --
Who converses with the white crane that comes flying?
How many times have the mountain people
Seen the winter plum-flowers blossoming?
Spring comes and goes,
Deep in fallen flowers and streams.
People are not aware
Of the many immortals around them.

Translated by by T. C. Lai

Lu Tung Pin was one of the Eight Taoist Immortals. He seems to have been a real person of the 8th century CE, but his story is so overgrown with legend that little is known about his life. He became associate with the doctrine that Heaven is all around us and inside us and that the true Tao is the finding of this immanent Heaven. Life, he is said to have taught, is as transient as a flickering flame or a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, but within life is Heaven, and within Heaven is life without end.

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