3am in the morning

the distance perhaps
in miles in years
cause these memories
both real and imagined
to co-mingle
restlessly
in the mind
yet the cat
gently calmly anchoring
an arm a heart
in the present
in this ancient city
both now call
home

The Cowherd: A Song by Ch’u Kuang-hsi

It  matters not if the pasture is far;
It matters not if the slope is steep.
Whether or not the cattle are tame or wild,
The cowherd’s mind is always calm.
A round bamboo hat over my head,
And a long palm-leaf coat to cover my body.
They’re good against summer showers
And good for days cloudy and cold.
The big cows are hidden behind the slopes;
The little ones dart in and out of nearby woods.
All things seem to please each other;
And they move me to sing and chant.
Joy is found in a moment;
Who would ask for a finer tune?

translated  by Joseph J. Lee