as fog hangs over
the tops of buildings
touched by limbs
of bare-branched trees
I feel the autumn morning
A poor man on a tiny plot
Imagines beyond the forest green;
No words of the wise can mend his lot,
He bears the burden as if a dream.
He plants his field and tends for autumn,
Singing a song of the land he sows,
And though he starves he’s never solemn,
Awaiting each morning the cry of crows.
One day he walks along the eastern bay
And spreads his oars beyond the shore;
Floating with the tide, he flits away
Until returning to land once more.
How sweet this densely hidden land
The sun goes up and soars on to the end
For me to chase somewhere beyond, alone;
Today I’m here to rest and meet a friend,
By dawn I’m off to seek a shore unknown.
It’s been near fifteen years without a rest
And now it seems the noise and crowds increase;
I’ll leave it soon and go perhaps out west,
The burdens gently boxed and left back east.
A western wind is blowing, wild and free,
Across the mountains, streams, and golden plains;
I’ll walk a trail of clouds to where they flee,
229. Farewell to Cui
Traversing mountains thin and deep
And on through hills and dales revered;
For just a day you’ll be a man
Of Eden, land of love and cheer.
I drifted south to follow the call of birds,
Then hunted around my former haunting grounds
Out west, where all was won with sand-swept words,
I think, once in the red-baked canyon towns.
In the wind somewhere I hear a whistling stone
And stop at the bar along the canyon end;
The moon is always high when drinking alone,
But it’s peaceful now while watching the river bend.