It’s been a long day (from ~ A.D. 409)


I live in town without all that racket
horses and carts stir up, and you wonder

How that could be. Wherever the mind
dwells apart is itself a distant place.

Picking chrysanthemums at my east fence,
far off, I see South Mountain: mountain

air lovely at dusk, birds in flight
returning home. All this means something

something absolute. Whenever I start
explaining it, I’ve forgotten the words.

Colors infusing autumn chrysanthemums
exquisite, I pick dew-bathed petals,

float them on that forget-your-cares
stuff. Even my passion for living apart

Soon grows distant. I’m alone, but after
that first cup, the wine jar pours itself.

Everything at rest, dusk: a bird calls,
returning to its forest home. Chanting,

I settle into my breath. Somehow, on this
east veranda, I’ve found my life again.

~T’ao Ch’ien, No. #3 and #4 from Drinking Wine in The Selected Poems of T’ao Ch’ien



  1. I was lulled by the words, feeling my own breath slow.
    Wonderful, David

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Add my voice to the choir. I could hear the birds calling, see the sun setting, feel a chill begin to creep into the air, and imagine myself coming back to center…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Days like this…

    Liked by 3 people

  4. it is very calming, just to read this –

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The last paragraph captures it’s beautifully 🍀🌿

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the photo! And the writing matches nicely!

    Liked by 1 person

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