Dream from England

Written according to the Song poetry style Nien Nu Jiao. 23rd Nov. 2010

Recall my friend,

Far Beyond

In the distant past,

The glorious romance

Between Xiao Qiao and Gong Jin.(1)

Vivid in my mind,

As in the poetic lines

Of our great poet Dong Po.(2)


Abundant riches

In the exuberant times,

Of the Kai Yuan era.(3)

Such inspiration,

From those floating dances

From the uplifting songs.

Such beauty,

At the Great Ming Palace.(4)

I dream the dreams of Zhuang Zhou(5)

Still fresh upon my eyes.


Descend again please,

Upon this tender earth

Our noble kings,

Yao and Shun,(6)

Dare I ask thee,

Our Lord of the Sky,

And the Jade Emperor of heaven.


Up there

Or down here,

Wilted the spirit of harmony?

Much of the time,

In the modern world,

Our eyes

Are now hypnotised

Upon the glittery

Of the golden gowns.

Dare I ask again,

For the return

Of the noble spirits

Of the hundred philosophers(7)

With the way of Tao

Bring upon changes,

With the waves of

The four seas

Bring upon transformations.

Floating on the ocean afar,

In this distant land, England.

I send my words,

Send my passion,

Send my good wishes,

As though I am face to face

With you, my friends.

In the noble hope

That good life will be again,


Upon this magnificent land,

Where nations are at peace,

Where people are heart to heart.

One world, one dream.

Remember to conceive, my friends,

Happiness is

A fish in water( 8 )

Gliding freely.

Despite this chaotic world,

Let us smile……

by Man Fong Mei

from the MFM E-Letter Issue No.10 Conceiving Yin and Yang – Towards a Scientific Interpretation 26th June 2011


(1) The love between General Zhou Yu (175-210 AD) and his wife Xiao Qiao, a beauty at the time of the Three Kingdoms.

(2) The great poet Su Dong Po (Su Shi 1037-1101 AD) who wrote a poem in the style Nien Nu Jiao which described the romance of General Zhou Yu and Xian Qiao (Song Dynasty 500AD)

(3) Kai Yuan era (Kai Yuan Sheng Shi 713-774 AD) was the greatest era of riches and abundance during the Tang Dynasty in which poetry, song and dance flourished to unprecedented artistic heights.

(4) The Great Ming Palace of Beauty was constructed by the Empress Wu (624-705 AD) after she took over the reigns from her husband. It was considered to be one of the most magnificent palaces in Chinese history.

(5) This dream described the idealistic vision of the philosopher Zhuang Zhou (369-286 BC) who dreamt that he became a butterfly and flying freely. He advocated a free and easy existence just like water flowing towards the ocean without a care about power and gains in this world. His famous idea of ‘Wu Bu Wei’ was as a development of Lao Tsu’s concept of ‘Wu Wei’. As a free thinker he dreamed of an ideal society.

(6) Yao and Shun were legendary kings in ancient China (circa 1000 BC) who were elected as sage leaders by the community rather than through bloodline inheritance like many dynastic emperors. Democracy as a social concept was very much evident during this period in ancient Chinese history.

(7) The hundred philosophers refers to the hundred schools of thought which flourished between the Spring and Autumn and the Warring State period in Chinese history (400-100 BC). Amongst the thinkers were Confucius, Lao Tsu, Zhuang Tsu and Meng Tsu who participated in the cross-century discourse on philosophical and social concepts.

( 8 ) This is a philosophical conversation between Zhuang Tsu (Zhuang Zhou 369-286 BC) and his friend, the logician Hui Shi, on the happiness of the fish in water. How, as a philosophical observer, do you conceive that? Is the fish happy or not happy? How do you logically prove one or the other?