Thomas Clark: Three poems in translation

On Takin Doun a Tirlis

The tethert sticks are wizzent nou, doun fawin,
The leafs that growe fae pumpkins scrank an sma.
Juist in time, the flouers whitely appen,
The green leafs o the vines hae dwyned awa.
The insects o the hairst mak ceaseless noise.
Whit hae the sparraes dreamt at close o day?
This warld is but a cauld thing, an a waste,
Still, human life haed its beginnings tae.

(Frae Du Fu)
Wha, abuin the muild,
Noo ah growe auld,
Sall cry me freend?
The firs o Takasago saund
This bairn aince kenned.

(Frae Fujiwara no Okikaze)

Nicht Snaw

That late awready. Ma pillae’s cauld. Ma twilt.
Ma windae bricht anenst it, ah see that nou.
Ah feel the snaw lin wechtie on the nicht,
At the edge o time, the sneckin o bamboo.

(Frae Bai Juyi)

Copyright © Thomas Clark 2016

Thomas Clark is a writer and poet who is currently poet-in-residence at Selkirk FC. His first collection, “Intae the Snaw”, was published by Gatehouse in 2015. He blogs about writing at


About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
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