noch als felsgrauer
knorriger Alter
kann ich’s nicht lassen
Reime zu machen
in längst verwelkten
Wörtern zu wühlen
und lauthals über
mich selbst zu lachen

敬安 (1852-1912): 自笑


Jingan (1852-1912):  Laughing at Myself

Cold cliffs, dead trees, and a monk
who, trapped by habit, can’t get rid of written language.
Laughing at himself, he writes the words of the mundane world,
while venting his anger at Cang Jie* for misleading mortals.

*Cang Jie, said to be the Official Historian of the Yellow Emperor an creator of the Chinese Characters.

(A Full Load of Moonlight. Chinese Chan Buddhist Poems. Translated by Mary M. J. Fung and David Lunde. Hongkong: Musical Stone Culture 2014. 117.)