Thursday, October 22, 2009

My house is at the foot of the green cliff,
My garden a jumble of weeds I no longer bother to mow.
New vines dangle in twisted strands
Over old rocks rising steep and high.
Monkeys make off with the mountain fruits,
The white heron crams his bill with fish from the pond,
While I, with a book or two of the immortals,
Read under trees--mumble, mumble.

--Han Shan (trans. Burton Watson)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Autumn Evening

Though the little clouds ran southward still, the quiet autumnal
Cool of the late September evening
Seemed promising rain, rain, the change of the year, the angel
Of the sad forest. A heron flew over
With that remote, ridiculous cry, "Quawk," the cry
That seems to make silence more silent. A dozen
Flops of the wing, a drooping glide, at the end of the glide
The cry, and a dozen flops of the wing.
I watched him pass on the autumn-colored sky; beyond him
Jupiter shone for an evening star.
The sea's voice worked into my mood, I thought "No matter
What happens to men ... the world's made well though."

--Robinson Jeffers