Incense Burner

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

This is the incense burner I had in mind when I started on this poem, imagining smoke engulfing the lid.  How people used it to seek divine help and answers; yet it could not foretell its own coming demise when incense stopped burning.

爐烟繞纒紫檀香, Smoke enshrouding the incense burner in sandalwood fragrance,
木魚長敲驚乾坤. Incessant beats from the wooden fish1 alarming the Universe.
聖杯落地解天意, Sacred cups2 a cast to determine Heaven’s will.
難測人性比海深. Deeper than the deepest ocean is to plumb the nature of man.


2. Divination blocks also known as jiao bei (筊杯)
For an interesting story see


It had been more than five years now.  Only one minor character had been changed to read better without altering the intent of the poem or its English translation.


Tuesday, 21 Jul 2015


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