rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,


No silent night tonight. Wind rises and falls but never ceases. I hear it shake distant trees, then those nearer, then those all about. I stand listening to its passage, seeing it bend the pine trees and shake the dim moonlight caught on their needles, feeling it tug my clothes and ruffle my hair and make my skin shiver. It absorbs into its own great voice the sound of cars passing on nearby roads, removing a century of technology from the night and restoring the pristine forest, so it seems as though I alone of all humankind have ever known it. Yesterday afternoon, when the air was still, I looked out my window and saw strewn on the porch dozens of oak leaves, brown and gray and faded green shot with bits of yellow, all the stages of dessication. The season now rushes to meet my disposition. I can't say how pleased I am that October's weather has arrived ahead of the month itself.

Sunday Verse

Autumn Pastoral

by Tu Fu


Pastoral autumn grows ever more unearthly.
A cold river jostles blue space. My boat
Tethered to Well Rope, aboriginal star,
I sited my house in Ch'u village wilderness.

There are workers here to pick ripe dates.
But I hoe these plots of sunflower wreckage
Myself. And dinners, the food of old men
Now, I share out mid-stream to the fish.


This gossamer life obeys an evident
Nature. Nothing turns away easily:
Fish are happiest in deep water, birds
At home in thick woods. Feeble, old,

I'm content sick and poor. Earth's
Pageant flares good and bad together.
Autumn wind blows. I totter about,
Never tired of North Mountain's ferns.


Music and rites to perfect imperfection,
Mountains and forests for long, steady
Gauze cap askew, I sun
My back against radiant bamboo books.

I gather windfallen pinecones, cut sky-
Chilled honeycomb open. In clogs,
I pause at sparse flecks of red and blue,
Bending toward their faint fragrance.


Autumn sand is white on the far bank, late
Light across mountains red. As waves
Recoil from the scales of something hidden,
Birds gather high in the wind to return.

Fulling-stones echo from every home. Axe
Strokes blend together. And soon, Ch'ing-nu
Arrives-- frost drifting down, a quilt
Gift coming between me and Southern Palace.


I wasted my life on Unicorn portraits. Now,
Peopled with ducks and egrets, the year
Crumbles. Autumn has swollen the vast river.
Empty gorges become night's wealth of sound.

Paths lost among thousands of stacked stones,
Our sail lingers on-- one flake of cloud.
Though well-versed in tribal speech, appointments
Advising lords are no certainty for my sons.


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