Bramble Gate (Poems)

Your bramble gate
open and empty

winter snow blossoms
can visit as they please

His hut is empty
ravens sit on the roof.

From the closed bramble gate
footsteps lead to the clouds

From one mountain to another
a light lingers.

Your bramble gate must be open
and I shall risk crossing the gorge

Bramble gate left open
for all visitors

yet guarded – a jumping spider
remains vigilant

observing all who pass through
eight fold visions

Deep in silvered azure forests
herb forage by moonlight.

returning home, an empty bramble
gate is always welcoming

Foot prints in the snow
lead to my bramble gate.

Resting tired bones, then I
shall follow you

so we may share
winters last cup of wine

Snowy cranes wander through
my bramble gate.

The wind should never be
asked for directions

and two immortals are now
stuck on misted mountain ridges

From my bramble gate
cirrus clouds drift

permeated by moonlight.
I let this paper rafter

go into the wind so she
may wander the stars

Bramble gate always open
visitors are rare on these

viridian mist peaks. Mist
thins out and there

residing in your empty gate
a paper crane

From my bramble gate, I watch two
blue herons in diamond hard focus.

Sudden fleeing – tiger bounds from
forest to pond – pollen laden fur cleansed.

Powder blue feathers fly to South Mountain
jade tiger rises from the water


Might as well call Wednesday “Random theme poem day” on this blog. Some of these will go on to bigger things.

Again, much credit going to Meng hao-jan.


About skyraftwanderer

A person who enjoys writing short story things, poetry and other random things that come into my head.
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4 Responses to Bramble Gate (Poems)

  1. Kelly E. says:

    Wow – I am not very familiar with Meng hao-jan or other Chinese poetry, but this makes me want to explore that genre. This is beautiful. I enjoyed the grounding repetition of the bramble gate image, the peaceful mood, and then the surprising passion at the ending.

    • Thank you for the comment.

      I am biased but if you do explore further, I can say it will be a rich experience. It is beautiful language, and the use of imagery and colour is sublime.

      And I just like the bramble gate image so much, I figured I’d work some poems around it. As an aside, the last one has become the basis for a three poem series, and I hope I can develop some more of these (if possible – some will work better as shorter works I figure).

  2. zumpoems says:

    Love the set of variations. And the commentary in the post and the comments, has me bookmarking David Hinton’s translation ( Mountain Poems with a renewed interest in purchasing.) Thanks much!

    • It’s just fun to see how many times you can replicate a variation.

      And if you already haven’t, Meng would be an excellent buy. He’s good. Real good. However don’t blame me if you start reading and begin to crave an idyllic existence in the mountains. Just saying.

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