Autumn Kessei 2017 week 9

by dairo tendo

Listening to a Monk’s Ch’in Depths

Carrying a ch’in cased in green silk, a monk
descended from Eyebrow Mountain in the West.

When he plays, even in a first few notes,
I hear the pines of ten thousand valleys,

and streams rinse my wanderer’s heart clean.
Echoes linger among temple frost-fall bells,

night coming unnoticed in emerald mountains,
autumn clouds banked up, gone dark and deep.

— Li Po (701-762)
translated by David Hinton in Mountain Home