West Lake (西湖 – Xihu), Hangzhou, with acknowledgements to Brittanica.com for use of this image

the mountains calm
over the lake,
ridges feathered with mist
the mist old as the
poems of loss.

i have known it too,
loss by my own hand
for the sake of one found.
my heart is a lake
no oar can lever

here i accept the loss,
the ridges, bright
turnings of the water
forerunners of the
gain, a time with

evenings the moon
finds silver of a time
i forgot, scattered
in tunes on the

i am no poet king,**
i deal to myself

14 march 1994
hangzhou, beijing

Copyright © 2021 Peter Le Baige. All Rights Reserved

* Hangzhou, according to Wikpedia was ‘the capital of the Wuyue Kingdom from 907 to 978 during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. Named Xifu at the time, it was one of the three great centers of culture in southern China during the tenth century… Leaders of Wuyue were noted patrons of the arts, and especially of Buddhism and associated temple architecture and artwork’

**The ‘poet king’ reference is to the ruler and noted poet Li Houzhu or more commonly known as Li Yu. Wikipedia has him as ‘…the last ruler of the Southern Tang Kingdom from 961 to 975 during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. He was also a well-known poet….and has been called the “first true master” of the poetic form in Chinese known as ‘Ci’ (pronounced ‘Tsih’).’

The music is from an uncredited performance of the traditional Chinese piece for guzheng (chinese zither), 高山流水, ‘High Mountains & Flowing Waters’

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