A Little stream used to cross my land

A little stream used to cross my land,
came from the mountain pass back there,
under city walls, through villages—
the current sluggish and choked with grass—
feeding finally into K'o Clan Pond,
ten sixth-acres stocked with fish and shrimp.
Drought this year dried it up,
its cracked bed plastered with brown duckweed.
Last night clouds came from hills to the south;
rain soaked the ground a plowshare deep.
Rivulets found the channel again,
knowing I'd chopped back the weeds.
In the mud a few old roots of cress
still alive from a year ago.
If white buds will open again,
when spring doves come I'll make a stew!

I planted rice before Spring Festival
and already I'm counting joys!
Rainy skies darken the spring pond;
by green-bladed paddies I chat with friends.
Transplanting takes till the first of summer,
delight growing with wind-blown stalks.
The moon looks down on dew-wet leaves
strung one by one with hanging pearls.
Fall comes and frosty ears grow heavy,
topple, and lean propped on each other.
From banks and dikes I hear only
the sound of locusts like wind and rain.
Rice, newly hulled, goes to the steamer,
grains of jade that light up the basket.
A long time I've eaten only government fare,
old rusty rice no better than mud.
Now to taste something new—
I've already promised my mouth and belly.
Author of original: 
Su Tung-p'o
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