from the series Don’t Ask: 11 by Ch’i-chi

Don’t ask if I’ve ceased wanting anything–
we all know the simile of the drifting clouds.
Excess wouldn’t fit the precepts:
take what comes and you’re never in doubt.
How happy, that worthy Yen!
Even the sage Confucius was poor.
Once you’ve passed the age of understanding
stop trying to change destiny’s course.

translated by Burton Watson

2 thoughts on “from the series Don’t Ask: 11 by Ch’i-chi

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