Tour2019

Tour 2019 – Day 24

Light Rain Blazing summer days: no force could bring them back. Clouds suddenly rising off the river, lovely, so lovely, ducks leave a bridge’s shadow, paddling into fine rain, and butterflies flutter out, frolicking in field breezes. The willow won’t survive nights and days much longer, and waterlilies will only open two or three more times. If the changing sights of a single year haunt your eye, why wonder that a palace lake is ash…

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Tour2019

Tour 2019 – Day 23

Wandering on Bushel Mountain Gazing all day into mountains, I can’t get enough of mountains. Retire into mountains, and mountains become your old masters: when mountain blossoms scatter away, mountains always remain, and in empty mountain streamwater, mountains deepen idleness. -Wang An-shih translated by David Hinton in Mountain Home Moment by moment do what needs doing The next stage of the route heads into the Great Divide Basin which is 144 miles of high plains…

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Tour2019

Tour 2019 – day 22

Pond in a Bowl Breach cut in green-moss earth, it steals a distant flake of heaven. White clouds emerge in mirror; fallen moon shines below stairs. -Tu Mu translated by David Hinton in Mountain Home It’s the ocean flowing in our veins Today was a long ride into the high plains. It began on a paved side road out of Boulder that worked its way up a valley all ranch land to the foothills of…

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Tour2019

Tour 2019 – Day 21

The Han River Rich and full, all surging swells and white gulls in flight, it flows springtime deep, its green a crystalline dye for robes. Going south and coming back north, you grow older, older. Late light lingers, farewell to a fishing boat bound for home. – Tu Mu translated by David Hinton in Mountain Home Roll the ol chariot along My campsite was on the Green River, the largest flowing body of water I’ve seen in a…

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Tour2019

Tour 2019 – Day 20

Sent to a Master of Silence on White-Tower Mountain Knowing you’ve returned to White-Tower, I gaze into mountain distances, late skies clearing. Mind tranquil in a stone house, moon-shadow lingers across frozen lakes. Thin cloud feathers into scraps and away. Ancient trees fall and dry into firewood. Past midnight, who hears stone chimes? The cragged summit on West Peak is cold. -Chia Tao translated by David Hinton in Mountain Home We’re bobbing on the surface It was already…

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Tour2019

Tour 2019 – Day 19

I entered the mountains and my cares became clear serene at heart I let them all go the trees beyond my yard thin out in fall the stream before my door becomes louder when it rains I pick greens and boil tea when a fellow hermit arrives I give a neighbor monk chrysanthemums in a pot from town the gentry might have their fine food and clothes but they can’t match a mountain monk with…

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Tour2019

Tour 2019 – day 18

XLIX The birds at play: when I can’t stand them any longer, I go sleep in my thatched hut. The cherries in the trees glow bright as the tips of burning incense, and the willow branches sway. Sun runs up green ridges. Sunlit clouds wash in the green pool. Everybody knows: if you want out of the dust, head up the south side of Cold Mountain. -Han Shan translated by J.P. Seaton in Cold Mountain…

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Tour 2019 – Day 17

67 The cold in these mountains is ferocious, has been every year since the beginning. Crowded peaks locked in perennial snows, recluse-dark forests breathing out mists, grasses never sprout before the solstice and leaves start falling in early August. This confusion includes a lost guest now, searching, searching—no sky to be seen. – Han Shan translated by David Hinton in Mountain Home Vast Tracks of Land Sunrise on the Boone Creek was achingly lovely; the…

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Tour 2019 – day 16

SEEING DU FU OFF IN EASTERN LU PREFECTURE Only a few days are left, So together we climb up to face the endless pools. When will we get on the stone path again Toward the gate up on the mountain And raise our cups up there? The autumn waves spread on the Si River, An ocean view brightens Julai Mountain. Like tumbling weeds, we will go separate ways, So for now let us drain our…

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Tour 2019 – Day 15

Before Crossing the Ridges All learning overturned in your pond’s ink-dark ripples, your tree of life scattering its branches: it’s breathtaking. Just one darling girl left now. She plays in courtyard dirt, empty mind fluent in all those scribbled sparrow tracks. -Liu Tsung-yüan translated by David Hinton in Mountain Home With limestone blocks so large I awoke on the Wildlife Refuge with the calls of strange birds in my ears. Back on the road–the same…

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