25 January – Lunar New Year 2020: The Year of the Rat

Happy Lunar New Year! Today marks the beginning of the Year of the Rat, and In Chinese reckoning, we can look forward to a generally auspicious year, especially those individuals lucky enough to have been born in the Year of the Ox, Dragon, or Monkey.

Below – Chinese Folk Art: “Chinese New Year”

Art for Lunar New Year – Andy Chen (China): “Chinese Medicine, Chrysanthemum”

Musings for Lunar New Year: Lao Tzu

“Amidst the worldly comings and goings, observe how endings become beginnings.”

Art for Lunar New Year – Yaang Yang (China): “Cyan Dandelion”

Art for Lunar New Year – Lamduc Manh (Vietnam): “Bac Bien Village”

A Poem for Lunar New Year

“A Roadside Teahouse”
by Ho Xuan Huong (Vietnamese, circa 1775-circa 1825)

Aslant, staring at a trembling landscape:

A twining road, a tottering teahouse,

A hut with a thatch roof, ragged, pathetic,

A slitted, scrawny bamboo beam,

Three tree clumps, bending, coquettish,

An emerald green stream, scanty grass.

Pleasured, I forget my old worries.

Look: someone’s kite’s spiralling.

Below – Man Trung Thu: “Tea House”

Art for Lunar New Year – Nguyen Chi Nguyen (Vietnam): “Nude no3”

Art for Lunar New Year – Chandra Morkonda (India): “Sacred Landscape”

Musings for Losar (Tibetan Lunar New Year): The 14th Dalai Lama

‘Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.’

Art for Lunar New Year – Tankha Bahadur (Tibet): “Seated Avalokiteshvara”

Art for Lunar New Year – Yuui Gim (South Korea): “Peep”

A Poem for Lunar New Year

“Golden Meadow”
By Kim Sowohl (Korean, 1902-1934)

golden meadow.
The burning fire in the deep, deep mountain valley
is the golden meadow by the grave of my beloved—
Spring has come, spring light has come
to the tip of the willow, and onto its thin branches,
the spring light has come, the spring day has come
to the deep, deep mountain valley, on the golden meadow.

Below- Barbara Jost: “Golden Meadow”

Art for Lunar New Year – Yugyeong Cheon (South Korea): “Past Present 03”

Art for Lunar New Year – Amita Dand (India): “Water lily pond at sunrise”

Musings and a Resolution for Lunar New Year: Mahavira

“Do not injure, abuse, oppress, enslave, insult, torment, torture, or kill any creature or living being.”

Art for Lunar New Year – Ning Lee (China): “Love (White Rose)”

Art for Lunar New Year – Nino Art (Japan): “Uninterrupted stream”

This Date in Literary History: Born 25 January 1885 – Kitahara Hakushu, a Japanese poet and author.

Tanka (“short poem”)

We are well into spring
And I have thought of peonies
For several days now
How many years have passed
Since my eyesight failed?

Art for Lunar New Year – Miho Kanamori (Japan): “Spirit of Japan”

Art for Lunar New Year – Khanh the bui (Vietnam): “Halong by no.50”

Musings for Lunar New Year: Buddha

“One moment can change a day, One day can change a life and One life can change the world.”

Art for Lunar New Year – Gyatri Artist (India): “History of Dreams and Realities”

Art for Lunar New Year – Xiaoqing Zhang (China): “Lotus”

A Poem for Lunar New Year

“Twenty-First Day Of The Seventh Month: A memory returned to me and I wrote this down.”
by Yuan Hung-tao (Chinese, 1568-1610)

Foggy moon, birdcalls in the flowers at dawn,
in cold willow branches, orioles trembled on the edge of dream.
The words “Love Each Other” were written on the pillow,
and heavy incense curled from behind the curtains.

Her emotions had the lucidity of calm waters –
red color came to her cheeks as she smiled!
Back turned to the lamp, she changed her damp nightgown
and asked her lover to gather up her earrings.
Their tears of parting moistened the fragrant quilt,
tenderness of love, fragile as the wings of a cicada!
With silver tongs she stirred the ashes in the brazier
and traced the words: “As Long as the Sky . . .”
Lantern hung from each story of the building;
the red railing of the balcony gave on the avenue below.

This was the scene of our love that year –
now I see only a tomb, overgrown with grass.
From the roots of the maples, I hear the whispering of a ghost
bearing the traces of her southern voice.
The stagnant clouds of this woman’s spirit
have been swept into rain
over a mountain I do not know.

Below – Birgit Moldenhauer: “Yellow Mountain in Rain”

Art for Lunar New Year – Jieting Chen (China):”Dream”

Happy New Year!

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