rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,
rejectomorph
flying_blind

Maladjusted

All afternoon I kept thinking how the other side of the year was and is going to be early spring. I think it's the missing foliage that is doing this. Having it abruptly cut rather than fall through weeks is shocking. The birds and squirrels don't seem pleased at all. But they are probably not thinking of spring. Birds and squirrels I think are pretty much stuck in the moment. In a few days they'll forget the that the foliage was ever there and they'll get on with the business of autumn. Me, I'm not so sure. I'm likely to keep forgetting it's not spring every time I come into the room and see that afternoon brightness. What I'll think on gray days I don't know. That it's midwinter already? Entirely possible. I've always been a bit maladjusted.




Sunday Verse


Drinking Alone Beneath the Moon


by Li Po


I

Among the blossoms, a single jar of wine.
No one else here, I ladle it out myself.

Raising my cup, I toast the bright moon,
and facing my shadow make friends three,

though moon has never understood wine,
and shadow only trails along behind me.

Kindred a moment with moon and shadow,
I've found a joy that must infuse spring:

I sing, and moon rocks back and forth;
I dance, and shadows tumble into pieces.

Sober, we're together and happy. Drunk,
we scatter away into our own directions:

intimates forever, we'll wander carefree
and meet again in Star River distances.


II

Surely, if heaven didn't love wine,
there would be no Wine Star in heaven,

and if earth didn't love wine, surely
there would be no Wine Spring on earth.

Heaven and earth have always loved wine,
so how could loving wine shame heaven?

I hear clear wine called enlightenment,
and they say murky wine is like wisdom:

once you drink enlightenment and wisdom,
why go searching for gods and immortals?

Three cups and I've plumbed the great Way,
a jarful and I've merged with occurence

appearing of itself. Wine's view is lived:
you can't preach doctrine to the sober.


III

It's April in Ch'ang-an, these thousand
blossoms making a brocade of daylight.

Who can bear spring's lonely sorrows,
who face it without wine? It's the only way.

Success or failure, life long or short:
our fate's given by Changemaker at birth.

But a single cup evens out life and death,
our ten thousand concerns unfathomed,

and once I'm drunk, all heaven and earth
vanish, leaving me suddenly alone in bed,

forgetting that person I am even exists.
Of all our joys, this must be deepest.


translated by David Hinton
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