murphy’s bai ju yi later years 000s

bai ju yi 001 enjoying the beginning coolness of autumn, sent to attendant worth yang ru shi
bai ju yi 002 dreaming of meng de
bai ju yi 003 leaving for a spring party
bai ju yi 004 composed march 3, 853, sent to wei the seventh
bai ju yi 005 dog and hawk
bai ju yi 006 idle living
bai ju yi 007 in the fourth month the pond is full
bai ju yi 008 singing my feelings
bai ju yi 009 leisurely summer days
bai ju yi 010 on being transferred
bai ju yi 011 a dream of climbing a mountain
bai ju yi 012
bai ju yi 013
bai ju yi 014
bai ju yi 015
bai ju yi 016
bai ju yi 017
bai ju yi 018
bai ju yi 019
bai ju yi 020
bai ju yi 021
bai ju yi 022
bai ju yi 023
bai ju yi 024
bai ju yi 025
bai ju yi 026
bai ju yi 027
bai ju yi 028
bai ju yi 029
bai ju yi 030
bai ju yi 031
bai ju yi 032
bai ju yi 033
bai ju yi 034
bai ju yi 035
bai ju yi 036
bai ju yi 037
bai ju yi 038
bai ju yi 039
bai ju yi 040
bai ju yi 041
bai ju yi 042
bai ju yi 043
bai ju yi 044
bai ju yi 045
bai ju yi 046
bai ju yi 047
bai ju yi 048
bai ju yi 049
bai ju yi 050
bai ju yi 051 three lis south of jade stream temple
bai ju yi 052 turning my back to the spring breeze
bai ju yi 053 answering meng de’s letter on autumn feelings
bai ju yi 054 enjoying zhao dun’s spricot blossoms
bai ju yi 055 weeping at the death of meng te of the secretariat
bai ju yi 056 a kite talks to a crane
bai ju yi 057 reading a sutra in my sickness
bai ju yi 058 inviting a mountain priest down to my home
bai ju yi 059 the last day of spring
bai ju yi 060 sent to governor wang qing
bai ju yi 061 waiting in the south
bai ju yi 062 a cool night
bai ju yi 063 inscribed at xiang shan’s new hall of the sutras
bai ju yi 064 down from the mountain
bai ju yi 065 heart talks to body
bai ju yi 066
bai ju yi 067
bai ju yi 068
bai ju yi 069
bai ju yi 070
bai ju yi 071
bai ju yi 072
bai ju yi 073
bai ju yi 074
bai ju yi 075
bai ju yi 076
bai ju yi 077
bai ju yi 078
bai ju yi 079
bai ju yi 080
bai ju yi 081 singing the feelings of autumn
bai ju yi 082 hearing a song
bai ju yi 083 su zhou of old
bai ju yi 084 end of the year
bai ju yi 085 written by the rocks and the stream
bai ju yi 086 reluctant to leave a cold pavilion
bai ju yi 087 looking at old poems of lu zhen
bai ju yi 088 xiang shan temple
bai ju yi 089 on partying
bai ju yi 090 standing alone by the western tower
bai ju yi 091
bai ju yi 092
bai ju yi 093
bai ju yi 094
bai ju yi 095
bai ju yi 096
bai ju yi 097
bai ju yi 098
bai ju yi 099

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 001

enjoying the beginning coolness of autumn, sent to attendant worth yang ru shi

for all this long time the fiery heat has not retreated
but be sure that fall shall itself soon come join the fray
a night will come with fresh wind and cooling rain
then hot and cold will oscillate a few more times

then all the hot scenes will slowly pass us by
gradually the cooler breezes will come to stay
pillow and mat finally fresh and cool
then turban and dress though light need heft

an old man relaxes into the grip of autumn
his heart and body release in remembered ease
my sleep both adequate and deep, i stretch in bed
i scratch my head, rub my face, roll up the blind

look to see the bamboo sway beside the pond
solitary as a lonely priest in his empty home
look down to see ripples of broaching fish
look up to see heaven shadowed by drifting clouds

whether the day to come be idle or busy
i will find some interesting thing to do
but now i wish we were together again
yesterday i heard of your summons to the palace

murphy glad to be retired and rid of official duties

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 002

dreaming of meng de

last night i dreamed of you, meng de
and i awoke to disturbing thoughts
i forgot you had gone to ru commandery
and thought you were still in su zhou

su zhou is a thousand miles away
the ru commandery is less than a hundred
but since i only see you in my dreams
what difference does that make

far or near are equidistant in dreams
glory and decay also one and the same
how are you eating and sleeping these days
as you recover from illness do you still sing

and when spring comes do you get a bit drunk
how does where you are rate with su zhou
the buildings, the scenery, the feel of the place
remember, when you think of me, don’t be too lazy to write

murphy keeping in touch the only way he knows

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 003

leaving for a spring party

i mount my horse, about to leave the gate
then hesitate and turn to wife and children
do you think it strange i party so much in spring
does it affect the demeanor of this old man

my fresh face of youth is now long gone
sparse white hairs have replaced a black thickness
i can count surviving friends on my ten fingers
yes, life is limited to but a hundred years

but then how many get to be even seventy
i am now sixty five, a cart careening downhill
if i make seventy i might have five more years
so when i meet spring i’d be a fool not to party

murphy letting it all hang out

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 004

composed march 3, 853, sent to wei the seventh

apricots in the garden spread their red petals
orchids in the courtyard show their purple buds
the year is progressing and spring has taken hold
this morning is the first day of the second month

last winter i was plagued by a lingering sickness
i sought cure through the arts of the doctors
this spring i entered the temple of the dao
to be cleansed through priestly purification

i have listened to many wise sages
who recommended fasting for sickness
and here i am still, still a lover of wine
yet i set aside the cup for a hundred days

tomorrow morning on the second of the second
with my sickness now cured i will end my fast
i will fill my wine jug to take along with me
to go visit wei the seventh and his flowers

murphy backing up to start over

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 005

dog and hawk

night descends on a pleasant day
i stand outside my gates
and chance upon a dog and hawk

the hawk having eaten its fill soars away
the dog lies warm in the sun fast asleep
both their stomachs comforted

one calmly lies quiet on the earth
the other spreads its wings to touch the heavens
the hawk above is beyond net or arrow
the dog below is neither roped nor caged

seeing other beings pursue their nature
brings a great pleasure to my heart
but what is the seat of this pleasure
i chant zhuang zi’s transcendent doctrine

the doctrine that each should follow their nature
the holy words one must never forget

murphy seeing wisdom in common occurrence

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 006

idle living

a stream flows by outside my gate
over my walls i see the tops of many trees
a bamboo path winds around the lotus pool
over a hundred paces and i walk it often

when the waves are idled fish and turtles play
when the wind dies down egret and gulls alight
alone i listen but hear no city noise
boundless the interest one finds in a river or lake

my humble hut stands back above the waters
here i spend all my days and nights
it is certainly peaceful living here in lo yang
too lazy to even venture into the mountains

at times a traveler passes by and asks
whose home might this delightful place be
i say it belongs to that old man bai
with closed gates here he ends his days

murphy finally coming home to roost

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 007

in the fourth month the pond is full

the fourth month brings water to fill the pond
fish leap, turtles play, i love my pond
i have a small shelter alongside the waters
men, fish, turtles differ in species, all find joy

you, my friend, and i pass the day in pleasure
not envying the ocean, content with rush and reed
forgetting green clouds and high office when we’re here
a grass hut sufficient to shelter our old knees

we are no longer flood dragons pursuing wealth
when the rains come we are both just pond dwellers

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 008

singing my feelings

men of offialdom delight in hill and garden
while mediocre men yearn for a rung to climb
there is one thing though that is hard to achieve
how to hold onto both at the same time

men who make the world go round are beset
their fate clogged, delimited, blocked by heaven
men of leisure often endure poverty and hunger
lucky for me i have leisure and a modicum of success

i have had my official pay and the time to roam
never once though have i yearned for honor or fame
never once jane i used heart and sinew to excess
wife, child, servants, no worries over clothes and food
my family not colored by worries nor yearnings for joy

murphy content to let it all happen

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 009

leisurely summer days

when the days are hot i never leave my gates
it’s the same for everyone, no one visits then
i lower the bamboo blinds and sit in my quiet room
the grounds of the courtyard are clean swept

i loosen my clothes and take off my headwrap
at leasure i can relax and do as i please
in the morning my pillows and mat, fresh cleaned
awakening to inner coolness i look forward to lunch

the flavors of meat and fish, lightly clothed
banana cloth and soft cotton is very comfortable
i have enough of everything and need nothing more
not like one who eats only one dish, and drinks from a gourd

murphy stirring from his easy chair to freshen his drink

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 010

on being transferred

my hair has gradually abandoned the top of my head
but the hair in my ears has been encouraged to grow
my body and looks age quicker day by day
but my official rank rises higher year by year

my salary increases but my worries do not leave
though now i am assigned to lo yang for my pay
i avoid cold spinach and bean leaves when i eat
but my lodgings are both comfortable and warm

i drink green wine carefully poured into silver cups
i can’t claim not to be eminent in my situation
a gold seal is prominent on my purple robe
and i know when to stop and not ask for more

but quietly i ask my heart
what am i really offering the nation

murphy enumerating his blessings

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 011

a dream of climbing a mountain

last night i dreamed of climbing song mountain
going forth alone with my old rattan cane
a thousand cliffs and a thousand ravines
i enjoyed the frolic of viewing them all

in the dream my legs were not half crippled
i was healthy as i was in my youthful days
but then i awoke and returned to my senses
the same old form with the weight of its years

but then i reflected that within form and spirit
the form can be sick but the spirit intact
one’s form and spirit are merely illusions
dream and awakening both not the whole truth

during the days i walk with a limping gait
but in the nights i walk briskly and free
and since half of life is day and half night
i lose nothing in the fullness of experience

murphy accepting it all as the joy of being

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 008

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 051

three lis south of jade stream temple

in the valley south of jade stream
the flowers are wonderful and strange
they don’t have the normal clustered look
thye look like clumps of breathing fire

today i am the only cultured man that’s here
every year these blossoms flare beyond reason
and i will come all this far to see them
for i don’t mind the bother of getting here

but i do wish to share here with you
this beauty and the friendship of wine cups
then the only things we might regret not having
would be music, and song, and dance

murphy a hedonist with his own style

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 052

turning my back to the spring breeze

when i began to fall ill i sought a daoist priest
he instructed me on restorative harmonious vapors
the true problem is that old age continues on
the mountain priest urged me to sit zazen

i did so, turning my back to the spring breeze

listening to “song of the willow branches”
from last year to this year i have cut out wine

murphy still breathing if nothing else

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 053

answering meng de’s letter on autumn feelings

i am fortunate to have survived a serious illness
and find myself more willing to face decay
my eyesight is muddled into a blur
i sit close to the lamp to see the best

i have the waist of starvation
it’s the first time i wear a belt
today brings leaves of crimson frost
old age makes my hair and beard snow white

downcast and crestfallen
old age is coming on

but once it passes, the end of sadness

murphy talking it over with the other old folks

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 054

enjoying zhao dun’s spricot blossoms

zhao du’s red apricots bloom riotous each year
the last fifteen years i’ve seldom seen them
since it’s difficult for a man of 73 to come here again
this spring i’ve come to take leave of the flowers

murphy ticking another off the list

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 055

weeping at the death of meng te of the secretariat

known throughout the four seas, bai and meng
inseparable friends for a lifetime
we shared being poor, being sick
the closeness of our retirement days

now one is dead, the other still lives
though the other is very close to old age
we were heroes of the wine cup, he and i
though he was better at literary refinement

the fine and eminent, all must perish
but then old indomitable spirits live on
having fun under the earth now, if you will
meng has joined our old friend yuan zhen

murphy watching them fall one by one

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 056

a kite talks to a crane

you, sir, are proud to be called a crane
i am equally proud for being a kite

your cry may be heard in the heavens
but i can actually fly to reach up there

yet we do share a peculiarity
we both eat smelly flesh, raw

murphy omniverous as were his forebears

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 057

reading a sutra in my sickness

my right eye is a muddled blossom
my left foor dangles and doesn’t feel
gold sword points the herb for my sight
water and stones the way to walk again

both are of no use, better for me to reflect
to think upon the three transports to joy
move beyond the hundred ailments
move beyond this floating life

i have no children in my home
but i’m near a simple grass temple
and i have my adored wife with me
to share the balance of old age

and as for my religious thoughts
why bother a priest about them
immortals come down from the moon
to find and attend this old man

murphy transcendent in acceptance

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 058

inviting a mountain priest down to my home

might you make time to come down here
you could beg for food in this vast city
please don’t jsut say you won’t come
i know the red dust dirties your robes

but if you want to know exactly where i live
bai’s house is just below the east wall
you can’t miss it since it’s surrounded by bamboo
if you listen hard you can hear the stream inside

murphy choosing his friends with care

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 059

the last day of spring

the warming air completes the fragrant scene
the change of seasons has caused me to think
i know only that my feelings are contained
there is no one here with which to share them

if i open my mouth who would hear my words
so i turn my head and tilt the jug once again
a little tipsy i eye the deep red peonies
thristy i sip a bit of the tea called crystal clear

as spring departs behind us this delightful day
a nightingale seems to have the last word
i listen to the trill of his few choice sounds
but he stays hidden in his forest garden home

murphy acutely attuned to the earth’as rhythm

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 060

sent to governor wang qing

once i was the one to depart to su zhou
now eighteen years later it is your turn there
the affairs of men like the light of of each day
change by the hour, depart within the dark

i feel i need to speak to the youth becoming a man
i fear half the mulberry fields there are now oceans
a nightingale could enter the old palace quietly
though the new envoy will be met with flowers
how i remember their color and their sparkle

the mountains and rivers there are with me to this day
the governor bai still abides in my mind

murphy watching the newbies take over

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 061

waiting in the south

the water plashes the rocks with the sound of a lute
drifting to sleep my heart is washed clean of dust
i don’t disparage those rocks greened by moss
this night their water sound is worth ten thousand gold

murphy wandering water’s way

10/25/14 12:30 PM

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 062

a cool night

dew whitened by the bright full moon
a cool breeze comes in the front gate
i get up for warmer clothes

oh, those dancing young ones
their waists, their singing sleeves
oh, why did i send them away
all i have now is but this stringless lute

murphy on first letting go

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 063

inscribed at xiang shan’s new hall of the sutras

smoke from the first fires of autumn fill the hall
bright moon’s light floods the inner courtyard
new fallen petals lie about, strewn by the fresh cold wind
a chiming sound strikes a chilling tone

is this a proper place for searching
this white haired old man wonders
he has re-opened his hall of sutras

murphy beginning a new series of songs

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 064

down from the mountain

hard work for the master to see me off
climbing down from the mountain
how can i express my deep feelings
during this last of our partings

i have reached my seventieth year
the master a full and healthy ninety
yet the next time we shall meet
will be in another world

murphy lazy in a time of elevators

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 065

heart talks to body

because i am lazy i let you sleep early
giving you soft peaceful pleasures
prolonging the time yet left for you

in a world full of problems
an old man’s chances are restricted
had i left you to your tasks
what heights you might have scaled

murphy lacking the stomach for political infighting

3/27/2014 1:56 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 081

singing the feelings of autumn

cold follows heat as quick as a bird in flight
again i change thin garments for warm ones
around my walls the crickets cry out
my feelings know no bounds
the swallow still snug in its nest
not yet ready to return to the south

one must be aware that year after year
you will lose your dearest friends
and don’t sigh because your looks decay
take some comfort from the old saying
old men of seventy are rare in this world

murphy taking a sip of solacing guiness

 

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 082

hearing a song

the air of the flute lightly soars
the plucked strings thick in ear
the song enters the clouds above
this old man is slightly befuddled

he closes eyes to remember youth
how sounds heard then are not heard now
but the very hearing now
is better than not hearing at all

murphy counting his blessings

 

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 083

su zhou of old

i left this place a long, long time ago
that former official now stands by the pond
but is his reflection the man he once was
that governor’s head now covered with snow

the crane that stayed by the “splendid pavilion”
dead and gone, the white lotus sore withered

murphy knowing at his core how everything changes

 

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 084

end of the year

another end of the year
one white headed old man
his friends nine of ten now gone

but he doesn’t mind a sick body
that has to be supported by a cane
for it is a far, far better thing
than to have no body to support

murphy counting his blessings while they last

 

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 085

written by the rocks and the stream

idly passing time walking beside the stream
i sit among the rocks making no sound
can anyone intuit my inner feelings

more and more i find
i am both deaf and blind
i do not readily disassociate
hearing the stream
seeing the rocks

murphy with his mind set free

 

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 086

reluctant to leave a cold pavilion

sitting at leisure this morning
in the stone pavilion
the fire out, the jug empty
it has gotten colder

still i try to detain my visitor
this snow haired old man
sitting by the frozen pond
within the frosted bamboo

murphy holding fast to enjoyable occasion

 

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 087

looking at old poems of lu zhen

i heard lo’s poems sung by yuan the ninth long ago
how i regret not having read master lu sooner
today we met as i unrolled his old scrolls
and found so many poems from my dear friend yuan

i look again at his hand and can’t stop the tears
i can hardly find the words for the affliction
with no yuan here to share emotional memories
we glancing at the other as we hid our tears

they say the white poplar at his grave
has already sent forth its long spring branches

murphy hearing himself talk in his father’s voice

 

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 088

xiang shan temple

pines welcome the breeze through their branches
they cover the looming cliff, reach for the rising moon
i sit on a corner of rock alongside the pool
a place where clouds and the river can join me

there is such an affinity here, i should return in another life
become the priest who lives in these mountains

murphy camping at marble falls as a young boy

 

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 089

on partying

a full cup in my hands, an easy heart
always meeting spring slightly tipsy
getting old brings forth a sadness
one that is difficult to suppress

i reach my hand to play in the water
as i slowly turn the boat around
looking for flowers along the road
i let the horse take its leisurely lead

proof right before my eyes, i diminish in strength
so now whenever i can party, i party

murphy having abandoned the healthy life style

 

 

 

 

 

 

bai ju yi 090

standing alone by the western tower

completely dressed in white, a head full of snow
slightly drunk now, standing by the western tower
those who care to look my way think i look strange
but for eleven years now they have seen this old man

murphy a shambling ghost of the street

 

 

 

 

 

 

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