Between Linux and Anime

Kind of like Schrodinger's Cat

Category: Poetic

Cras Numquam Scire

Faintly whispers the ethereal moon
But none to hear the voice, though bend
The tides to rhythm, the swell and swoon
– a dance her dying thought to send

But stars! In numberless verse arcane
Their ageless wisdom upon me rain
In infinite words! A hurricane!
And countless books, born to contain

But measureless Heaven! For me too vast
And blade of Time! For me too swift
Cursed to hollowness, I flail and drift
And hoard the letters, all vain! At last
I sink with them into the dust

Yet still my voice shall raise the clamor
Of senseless utterance from my depths drawn
That heaven might echo my soul’s tenor
When new sun rises in wavering dawn


Then lo, the darkness answered, saying
Alas! None know the shifting futures
I lift my hands to emptiness, praying
I grasped and held the frozen ethers

O despair, O wind, over me blow!
To pages of Past, all dream and sorrow
Reduce! The world in twilight sleep
And forward, and steady, my steps I keep
Toward that nameless, blameless tomorrow


Lune oqui cr pos tatumn.
Homu aude cr dis Soenan.
Cure Tint le vid siesta.
Mimo scap ler nox grad.

Astr scrib cr pos arcan.
Homu scire cr dis Abesn.
Infor Sintac le tabu vern.
Gigan Leinau le nascour.

Cae lie imam plati nor main.
Tempo le imam celer or mint.
Nihil dis scio Igo rina nis.
Colle Sintac mi
Sina cader plutien.

Igo clama re nihil minus.
Dis sciren ex Soenan.
Conti affir mia Celest.
Nova Sol ie rad four.

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Forest of Pillars

Titans. Sentinels.
Colossal monuments of ancient stone.
Seemingly numberless, vanishing
into the mist
Like a silent army poised
in a valley vaster than vastness
far as the beholder beholds

Young humanity, ever marching
with science and steel in ceaseless conquest
placed them at our feet
than those unspeakable enormities of cliff and shrub
we stand higher, on our pedestal of power
We look out upon them as above clouds

Yet even up here
lifted in the fancy
of humanity’s seeming victory
The mere man
surveying the conquered landscape
cannot but tremble
at the expanding, shattering image; stumble
smothered in the blanketing embrace
of ageless, inexorable nature
In the dizzying consciousness that the very stone
hard and strong beneath his weak feet
is but the speck of the hubris of Man
hewn in tiny steps and paths
upon the awful shoulder of an unfeeling giant
for which the dawn and rise of our age
is but a wink in a long and ancient dream

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spiralling, swirling dance
The warm, smearing cloud
of my breath against
the burning frost in the air
The yellow lamplight
dotting the snow-clad wind
whisper of distance, beyondness, flickering
like shadows in my crusted soul
but with quiet, graceful tempo
Amidst the smell of fragant cold
the sweet, stinging taste
of yuzu

Strung with thorns, this path we plow
Far as the eye can gaze upon
Lo what comfort, what joy to know
The road goes ever on and on


-Photos by JX

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The Realm of the Fox’s Glare

One step into the fox’s glare
Then several more, as far as I dare
I leave the sunlit way behind
In silence in shifting shadows twine
Through winding path and jagged stair
Till deep in their enchanted lair
Pulsed my musing hesitation
My fearful, breathless, trepidation
From all sides the slitted stare
My melancholy, my soul laid bare

What is it that you desire?

To be of aid to fellow man
To seek, to know, to understand
A thousand more I daren’t demand

Silent words, like smoke, like foxfire

I held on to all I’d known
The conviction to which I am heir
With chill and wonder in my bone
I sought to sense the magic there
In freshness of the mountain air
Amidst the orange, faded stone
The enigma of a foreign throne
Filled me like a whispered prayer
As far as I dare, as far as I dare
Into the realm of the fox’s glare

PS: if you ever go to Kyoto, give the Fushimi Inari Shrine a visit.

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I walk within the midnight dreary

I walk within the midnight dreary
On steps of lost souls weak and weary
The day’s load, the cacophony
Of lingering care, my sullen company
Glowers the horizon with quite too many
Blog posts and forsaken deeds of merry
Flickering beyond my reach and boundary
Dances the mirage, the winking Faery
Twinkling like a speck of starry
Infinity, above the midnight dreary.

Yes I know I stole “midnight dreary” from some poem that I liked but cannot remember. And yes, I’m stressed. Huge deadline period now, and right after that I’ll be going on a week-or-so-long vacation trip, so no blog posts until then. Not like I have one even close to being finished anyway (except this one, which randomly came to me as I walked my weary steps to the bus stop after a very long day of toil). Anyway, good luck to me, and happy holidays to all (most of?) the rest of you!

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If you can taste this surging discovery
This moment that ends this journey
Perhaps you wouldn’t destroy, perhaps you wouldn’t
Perhaps you’d tread more gently

If you can feel this breathless touch
Tremulous, trembling, exultant
Perhaps you wouldn’t destroy, perhaps you wouldn’t
Perhaps you’d be more reverent.

If you can know the triumph of a soul
An instant in time, an age
If you can fathom magic momentary
From your disinterested vantage
If you can see how one can adore
A simple thing like never before
Perhaps you wouldn’t destroy, perhaps you wouldn’t
Perhaps you’d care a little more.

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月·西江 – or Hatsune Miku beats Jay Chou

Wow, you don’t come across Miku-chan singing a Chinese song all the time. Probably not at all in fact, given the drama that accompanied this one. But I really, really like this piece. It’s a beautiful song, very poetic, very melodically emotive, and very Chinese. I also really like the simple but effective video that accompanies it, but what surprised me most was how amazingly well Miku sang it. Her voice and tone quality was nearly perfect – just that right balance of detachment and engagement to bring out the song’s sighing, gently wistful quality. Damn, I think she did this song better than just about every Japanese song I’ve ever heard her do, though I admittedly haven’t heard many.

This piece does have a somewhat tragic story though. Apparently the author put it up on NicoNico and got flamed into eventually removing it by a horde of anti-Chinese NicoNico users. Seems like there are Japanese out there who hate the Chinese as much as some Chinese hate the Japanese, at least in NicoNico. If you have a NicoNico account you can drop by the now defunct video page here to have a peek at the carnage. Frankly, I think it’s plain ridiculous. As a chink myself I’m aware of the Sino-Japan history of conflict, and if people want to take that seriously, fine. But where is the rationale in getting hostile over a musical work – a good one at that – just because it is written in the Chinese language and performed by a Japan-invented Vocaloid?

Although I haven’t heard many Vocaloid songs I really like the Vocaloid idea and find the effects of its adoption into popular culture very interesting. And I’m very impressed at how surprisingly well a Vocaloid programmed to only pronounce Japanese syllables is able to perform a Chinese song. Of course, she doesn’t pronounce very well, but I won’t expect a regular Japanese singer to be able to do better. I’d really like to see more such experimentation with the Vocaloids. So Mr Author if you’re anywhere out there, I hope you don’t get too discouraged. And to the folks who flamed this video out of NicoNico, random kittens explode in violent despair whenever you do inexplicably unintelligent things like that. THINK OF THE KITTIES!!

Btw, yes, I haven’t walked off a cliff. I’m still battling my Final Year Project for my life and sanity though, but assuming I don’t get slain in the next one or two weeks, I have a couple of posts I’d like to write, so yeah, this blog isn’t quite dead yet :) For anyone non-chinese who might be interested, the name of the song translated is “Moon. Xi River“. I’ve contemplated translating the lyrics too, but decided against it. Poetic lyrics like these are nigh impossible to translate without completely mangling it in the process, not without some decidedly ingenious (and likely inaccurate) ad-libing anyway.

PS: yes, I do think she did this song better than Jay Chou did comparable songs.

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Gift too far?

These short little moments so simple and true
So full of deep relish, and bursting with hue
Oh were it that I could cast it in spell
How dearly I wish I could give this to you

That this wash of warm musings could water your wounds
This flash of swift radiance could run your soul through
This assuring glow, your darkest deeds to
How dearly I wish I could give this to you

In through those shamed shells, those shackles of slander
Past all of the hate, the pain and the rue
Through withering gates, the gardens of pity
How dearly I wish I could give this to you

Open! Open! Twist not in your tomb!
Deliverance! Wind! They can be yours too!
Take down your walls and fear not! Look!
Salvation is waiting, We give this to you

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