All the spring weather, while the
Flowers are in bloom, he is
In bloom, too. Every day he
Is drunk all day long.
Lu Yu (trans. Kenneth Rexroth)
His face is cherry-blossom pink.
He has had ten cups of wine, but
the sunlight says mid-morning: why
is he still thirsty? In winter cold,
his thirst waned. He drank black tea
by a dung-fire in his hut. He wrapped
a thin shawl over his shoulders.
How could he have lived all those
months lonely-freezing, sober,
without blossoms popping from
every twig under blue skies?
By late spring, when blooms curl
and drop like autumn leaves,
he will hold their color in his
wine-cup, and drink, and bloom
Brendan Walsh is a Fulbright Scholar and poet from Connecticut, but has lived in upstate New York and South Korea, and he will soon move to Laos. Follow his life in Laos at jockzenpoet.blogspot.com