Three Small Poems
The birds have vanished down the sky
Now the last clouds drain away.
We sit together, the mountain and me,
until only the mountain remains.
by Li Po
translation Sam Hamill
Although the wind
blows terribly here,
the moonlight also leaks
between the roof planks
of this ruined house.
by Izumi Shikibu
translation Jane Hirshfield and Mariko Aratani
In the spring of joy,
when even the mud chuckles,
my soul runs rabid,
snaps at its own bleeding heels,
and barks: “What is happiness?”
by Phillip Appleman
from New and Selected Poems 1956-1996