rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,
rejectomorph
flying_blind

Quiet

The people who live beyond the back fence must have gone away today and taken their dogs with them. Nobody was out running lawn mowers or leaf blowers, and nobody was doing anything with saws or sanders or routers or nail guns. It was very quiet. I could listen to the leaves rustle and fall, and the birds chirp. Although summer has not yet used up its store of heat, and the brown lawn smelled baked, the placidity was sufficient compensation for the sweltering.

It was a pleasant change from Saturday, which was so full of disruption and distraction that I got nothing done. I got nothing done today, either, except for my late afternoon shopping trip, but that was by choice. I didn't miss those dogs one bit, and neither did the feral cats, who spent the day napping in shady spots.

Later tonight I'll have to water the front yard, which hasn't gotten wet in six days, but I'm really looking forward to fifteen or twenty minutes of hearing the water splash away the dryness. Now that summer is almost over I can even forgive the cicadas their buzzing. The coming week is to turn milder, and the mornings will probably be cool enough to bring a presentiment of autumn. There might even be a bit of rain on Thursday. A week from Monday is the equinox, and a week after that it will be October. Buzz away, bugs. Your nights are numbered.




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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