Winter Moon

A mountain grove, leafless—
Cloudless skies, windstill—
Dawn colors pinch the frost; chill moonlight overflows;
All heaven and earth should be the name-board
      “Palace of Broad Cold.”

Winter Moon (2)

Opening the window at midnight, the night air cold,
Garden and roof a gleaming white,
I go to the verandah, stretch out my hand to scoop up
      some snow—
Didn’t I know that moonlight won’t make a ball?

  — Koken Shiren (1278 – 1347), Japanese Zen patriarch and celebrated poet in Chinese.