POTD: Ascending Tianmu Mountain in a Dream

Ascending Tianmu Mountain in a Dream
Bozeman, Montana
2019

Up a ladder of blue cloud,
Halfway up the cliff I see the ocean sunrise,
Holy cock-crow in space,
On a thousand precipices and in ten thousand valleys, the path is not clear.
Flowers lure me, rocks ease me. Day suddenly ends.
Bears, dragons, tempestuous on mountain and river,
Startle the forest and make the heights tremble.
Clouds, blackest black, are going to rain,
From placid water, mist rises.
Thunder and Lightning
Shatter hills and mountains.
The stone gate breaks asunder
Venting in the pit of heaven,
An impenetrable shadow.
…But now the sun and moon illumine a gold and silver terrace,
And, clad in rainbow garments, riding on the wind,
Come the queens of all the clouds, descending one by one,
With tigers for their lute-players and phoenixes for dancers.
Row upon row, like fields of hemp, range the fairy figures.
I move, my soul goes flying,
I wake with a long sigh,
My pillow and my matting
Are the lost clouds I was in.

–Li Bai

8 thoughts on “POTD: Ascending Tianmu Mountain in a Dream”

  1. Thanks Teresa. I have some nice texture shots from Mammoth Hot Springs that would make good backgrounds for composite images but do think I have any quite as intricate as this corroded metal.

  2. I thought your background might have come from the Terraces area at Mammoth Hot Springs. Even more interesting knowing what it really is.

    Very nice composite.

  3. Thanks Kathy. The image is in fact a composite photo, so I seem to have met my goal of creating a composite photograph with the look of a real Chinese painting. I used three images to create the scene. The background is a sheet of metal with some really interesting and colorful corrosion in the form of drips. (I turned the image upside down to make the drips look like trees and mountains.) The birds are a flock I photographed on the National Mall near the White House. The pagoda and two darker mountains in the foreground are in fact from Tianmu Mountain in China.

    The poetry is an excerpt from a longer poem whose title is not coincidentally “Tianmu Mountain Ascended in a Dream.”

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