Life is like a ship
Random Thoughts at Sea
Tune: Feng Ru Song
Life is like a ship at sea.
Sooner or later, it will face wind and mist.
When the sea is calm and tranquil,
take precaution to avoid collision.
Wherever reefs and rocks are hidden,
be sure to move ahead with caution.
Helping each other can avoid a disaster.
On the same boat, fate is linked together.
If the purpose of life is merely to make money,
one would endlessly be insatiable and greedy.
The sense of right and wrong, good and evil
may be indistinguishable for some people.
When evil thoughts are frequently intertwined,
the mind would be chronically tired.
A fatigued mind hastens the process of aging.
A mind at peace may extend life and reduce suffering.
Random Thoughts at the Foothills of the Volcano Mount Teide
Tune: Ling Jiang Xian
I have repeatedly walked through life's winding roads,
Experienced its vicissitudes wherever I chose to go.
How can I forget those joyful reunions and parting sorrows?
My white hair starts to become thin.
While bending, I now feel the back pain.
Luckily, my mind remains as young as ever.
It still flies over mountains and water.
Today, I even set foot around the volcano Mount Teide.
Those unusual rocks and caves brighten my mind.
The old volcanic peak keeps my eyes opening wide.
繆斯 (Muse) 即詩神。
Random Thoughts on My Life's Journey
I dared to translate Shakespeare's Sonnets into classical-genre Chinese.
Did my enthusiasm touch the heart of the goddess Muse?
I acquired the fundamentals in English primarily as a self-taught learner.
I started my formal schooling much later than a typical first grader.
My fellow villagers thought that I was intellectually slow.
They called me by a name which implied dull and shallow.
Amidst political conflicts, I left my hometown and changed my name.
I seized the opportunity to skip a grade and played a new game.
Now in my golden years, I try to prevent the Alzheimer's from arriving
I often bilingually translate and write poems to keep my brain running.
In poetry, I enjoy blending the old with the new.
I can see why uniqueness is not acceptable to a few!
I luckily set foot this morning in Shakespeare's old home at Stratford Upon Avon.
I couldn't help but thinking about this great man on our way back to London.
Farewell to Mable
(Translated from my original poem written in Chinese)
Everyone must leave this world without exception.
Sooner or later you must go home to your final destination.
Your resting place may be over the mountain or by the water.
So mystical is your journey even the wise ones bewilder.
People complain that life is too short from the very beginning.
How can one measure a lifetime of deep affection and feeling?
Friends and relatives everywhere feel sorrowful during your final days.
Separated by rivers and mountains, the road to see you is too far away.
From now on, sorrows and worries will vanish forever.
You will no longer be hurt by pains or a natural disaster.
The state of your mind will be as calm as the smooth water.
You can no longer be disturbed by a noisy and sarcastic speaker.
Wherever your eternal sleep may be, you will be at peace.
Flowers and plants around you will keep emitting fragrance.
(tr. E. C. C.)
Rambling Thoughts at Sea
Mocking Myself at Sea
Tune: Feng Ru Song (Wind through Pines)
How much longer can I live I do not know.
I wish IT would come late, as least for now.
I have walked through circuitous and dangerous roads in life.
Looking back, I have an uneven share of happiness and hard time.
Field of vision can be enhanced in adversity.
Compatibility arises when we value diversity.
In my sunset years, I started to learn poetry and rhymed prose.
In my walk, to the tune of a Song lyric I tried to compose.
I like both the Tang rhythm and the Ancient style.
From a bilingual perspective, I learn from the masters I admire.
I enjoy studying the works of Bai Ju Yi and Tao Yuan Ming.
I revere Wang Xi Zhi and Laozi, the author of Dao De Jing.
(written and translated at sea, Feb. 2016, E.C.C.)
Greeting the Year of Monkey
In the midst of a blizzard, we bid farewell to the old lunar year.
No old sheep is in sight; so wild the little monkeys appear.
Confined indoor for three days, we have little room to move around.
With two feet of snow in the city, where can we be bound?
So fortunate to have a neighbor who will come to clear our driveway.
I wish I could raise my shoulder and arm to shovel the snow away!
So sad to watch the deer lingering around our "dwarfed" cypress.
I do sympathize with them as they must cope with their hunger stress.
Let the Cypress Tree Speak for Itself
Unlike the desolate woods, I do not wither.
In bitterly cold, I still look enchantingly tender.
Wind and frost fail to bring me down.
Assaulted by snow and ice, I am still around.
Nothing the old fellow can do with two feet of snow.
He watches helplessly as the deer eat me three days in a row.
He did use a net to protect my lower body from the deer.
Now dwarfed, I beg for mercy and ask them to stop coming here.