"Inspired by ancient Chinese music "春江花月夜" - "A Moonlit Night on the Spring River" (Played with Vertical Bamboo flute/Chinese Bamboo Xiao)
The river scatters moon and sky, congeals them, light and wavering.
A bamboo flute brings spring by night, rolling miles of blue-green glaze.
Bright moon, a thousand rivers, thousands flowing, east-west, overflowing.
A cloud, a shadow crane* — a Taoist, freed to feathers, leaves the maze.
Both river, moon, forever rhythmed; sound and colour bind each other.
Clear river’s flowers skirt an islet; high sides’ grass, a luscious place.
The clasps of waves sound far, then close; at river’s edge, white rock, a stranger.
Clear breeze beyond the heavens, come and cross the river, stroke my face.
Far off, the river’s glints expand, becoming stars and cosmic stipples.
Clear river: boat, through wind and smoke. Moon sinks to river’s heart, ripples.
* a shadow crane: In Chinese history, legend has it that when Taoists succeeded in their cultivation, they could become immortals. Sometimes they transformed themselves into a beautiful crane and flew into the heavens, or rode upon a crane and flew away.
Translated by Jennifer Zeng and Damian Robin