Monday, February 8, 2010

Two drinking songs

I built my hut near where people live
and yet I hear no traffic noise or sound of wheels.
Could you tell me what is happening?
An aloneness gathers around the soul that is alone.
I pick chrysanthemums underneath the east hedge,
the mountains to the south are clear.
The mountain air at sunset is so wonderful,
and the birds coming home, one after the other.
In all these details there are secret truths;
but when I try to shift to language, it all slops away.
Such a strong color on the late chrysanthemums!
The stalk sways stoutly, flower wet with dew, open.
Wandering drunk in this beauty, who cares about my sorrows.
I have left excitement behind, and what is not done.
Alone, I take a drink.
The bottle tilts by itself when the cup is empty.
When the sun goes down, all bustle stops,
and the birds on their return call from the leaves.
I walk around my study shouting and proud
because I can take up this life again.
~ Tao Yuan-Ming