In Reply to Su, Who Visited My WheelRim River Hermitage When I Wasn’t There to Welcome Him

I live humbly near the canyon's mouth
where stately trees ring village ruins.


When you came on twisted rocky paths,
who welcomed you at my mountain gate?


Fishing boats frozen into icy shallows,
hunting fires out across cold headlands,


and in all this quiet beyond white clouds,
wild gibbons heard among distant bells.

 

From Mountain Home: The Wilderness Poetry of Ancient China, forthcoming from New Directions.