Poems of Xue Tao
Freeverse on Pure Cloud Temple, in two verses
They say Pure Cloud Temple is covered in moss.
High winds, close to the sun, blinding with fine dust.
Slanting clouds add beauty to hibiscus-covered walls
And, as if just for poets, a jewelled moon arrives.
They say Pure Cloud Temple is covered in flowers.
Rising into the sky, winding stone stairs, plunging river.
Sometimes, with a mirror, they release Chang E,
Who steps out of her jade statue into rainbow mists.
Chang E was a beautiful woman who escaped from a man by fleeing to the moon. Stories vary. She was protecting her virtue. She was protecting her husband's magic elixir. It seems like one version I read had her going to the moon for the wrong reasons and regretting it later. The second verse could be artistic fancy. But it could also be some kind of religious ritual for the public where, by using a mirror, the statue appears to come alive in the mists. Maybe within a waterfall on the grounds. It's the kind of thing temples end up doing to keep the money coming in.