Wednesday

Du Mu



The wine-stained sorrows of an 8th century Chinese poet share my morning.  Sadness for friends he could no longer laugh with, lovers he could no longer hold, sang through the words of his poems. His was a world in decline, marked in the same ways as ours by meaningless corruption, by boundless greed.  Soothed by the flow of a river, the sparkle of a leaf in the early sun, he turned to the natural world for his consolations.  Coming down thirteen hundred years of moonlight and sunrise they console me still.  Like a pebble, like a stone his words roll all these miles over all this time to land in my hand on this early morning of a late summer day.

I turn from the page for a moment to watch a small breeze lift a small plant on the top rise of the eastern hillside.  It wasn't the fox after all.