I gazed into my wine cup

(After Li Po)


I gazed into my wine cup
Till after darkness fell.

Out of that dark pool
The vines grew up
Twining me around
And the wine was in me
And I was the wine.

Then I dreamed I stood,
Lost in the wine’s dreaming,
And the moon was there
Beneath my feet, there
Where I walked, midstream.

Somewhere an owl hooted

But nobody was there
To wake me.


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Visiting the Taoist Priest Dai Tianshan, but Not Finding Him

(after Li Po)


I heard his dog barking down by the creek, but when I tried to follow
A hard rain fell, scattering the peach blossoms, hiding the path.

I’ve long since lost the dog, the creek, the path; I can’t hear the temple bell,
And one stand of bamboo is like any other.
I think it’s spring now, or will be soon: it’s greener, anyhow,
And sometimes I see deer, off in the woods.

No one else can tell you the right way to go, that’s what he always said;
Meaning, I thought: Trust yourself. See where that’s got me?


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