Meng Jiao Poems

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Song Of A Traveling Son

Thread in the hands of a loving mother
Turns to clothes on the traveling son.
She adds stitch after tight stitch until he leaves
and worries about his return.
A grass blade is bathed in spring sun;
how can its inch-sized heart return such love?

Wanderer's Song

The thread in the hand of a kind mother
Is the coat on the wanderer's back.
Before he left she stitched it close
In secret fear that he would be slow to return.

Song Of Fidelity

Parasol trees age side by side,
Mandarin ducks die together in pairs.
A pure woman would die with her husband,
just give her life away,
no waves stirring in
her heart calm as water in a well.

On Failing The Examination

The dawn moon struggles to shine its light.
the man of sorrows struggles with his feelings.
Who says in spring things are bound to flourish?
All I see is frost on the leaves.

Autumn Thoughts

Lonely bones can't sleep nights. Singing
insects keep calling them, calling them.
And the old have no tears. When they sob,
autumn weeps dewdrops. Strength failing

Laments Of The Gorges

Triple Gorge one thread of heaven over
ten thousand cascading thongs of water,
slivers of sun and moon sheering away
above, and wild swells walled-in below,


Write bad poems and you're sure to earn a post,
but good poets can only embrace the empty mountains
Embracing mountains makes me shake with cold.


Let's compete with our tears,
let them pour into a lotus pond;
then we'll wait this year and see
whose flowers drown in salt water.


Despise poetry, and you'll be named to office.
But to love poetry is like clinging to a mountain:
frozen, holding tight, facing death,
days of sorrow followed by sorrow.

Departure In Ancient Times

I clutch your clothes when you leave.
Please tell me where you are going.
I don't complain if you come back late.
Please don't go to the brothel.

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