At the canyon's mouth, a far-off bell stirs.
Woodcutters and fishermen scarcer still,
sunset distant in these distant mountains,
I verge on white clouds, returning alone.
Frail water-chestnut vines never settle,
and light cottonwood blossoms fly easily.
Spring grass coloring the east ridge, all
ravaged promise, I close my bramble gate.
From Mountain Home: The Wilderness Poetry of Ancient China, forthcoming from New Directions.
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