January 24th, 2018

I've lived in the clouds thirty years
I love the freedom
and I love the immortals
their island home might be far off
but a shy crane heart can soar

since coming to Peach Blossom Cliff
I've slept below a cloud-filled window
been befriended by hermits
on the neighboring ridge
and shared the springs with gibbons

I've even climbed the jade-green scarps
to the top of distant Lofushan
whose twin peaks guard the Eastern Ravine
and whose ridge spans the Western Heaven

the dense woods make escaping the sun easy
but the narrow cliffs make it hard to see the moon
wild plants constantly transform the landscape
hanging vines sway in the mists every spring

I built a stone hut to be apart
and cleared some steep land for the seclusion
my reason for living on this mountain
was to be free of worldly ties
now that you've left the court behind
don't go back for the next thousand years

Li Pai (701-762)