Farewell to Monk Chih-hsinmg by Chia Tao

You have lived a long time
at Pa-hsing Temple;
retired, you’re preparing
only now to leave.

On the verge of parting, we look
out upon the bright water of autumn;
you’re not returning to your hometown
nor to the countryside near it.

You will hang your Buddhist staff in a tree
where the sky reaches to a watery horizon;
where the door-leaf of your hut
opens on great mountains.

Below, you will see dawn
a thousand li away;
a miniature sun
born of a cold white sea.

translated by Mike O’Connor

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