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Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Tenth Moon (by Li He)

This poem for the Tenth Moon finds the world in an unsettled state, half frozen, the shadows dancing, approaching its perigee, the Cold Moon strains to reach for the Yin extremity.

The water won’t pour from
The jade vase’s slender silver spout

The hanging lantern casts its shadow and light
Playing hide and seek with the night

Frost broken and scattered and dancing
Is spread like a canopy across the lawn

Two rows of candles in their wicker baskets
Shine outside the lady’s chamber

Behind the pearl screen she lies
Troubled and unable to sleep

The gold phoenix has been pricked by a thorn
Not even the bedclothes will keep her warm

Long eyebrows so perfectly matched
The moon strains to reach its fullness 









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