What Her Girl Friend Said, Consoling Her when She Was Distressed by the Town's Gossip -

Narrinai 311

If it rains,
our town grows rich.
Ears of grain
cluster on the paddy grass
maned like horses.

When it's dry,
thorn bushes rise by the black waters,
the mud is parched.
But the dark shallows
yield a harvest of white salt.

Full of old ceremony,
this ancient town of ours
is always rich,
has kitchen smoke from frying fish
wafting through the streets
and on the beach
where tiny flowers dot the tigerclaw trees.

Yet, I must say, it has one fault.
The bees get high on the pollen
in the groves of black-branched laurel

and hum so loud

it's hard to hear the bells
of his tall chariot
when it comes.
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