Saturday, July 12, 2014

Duckville & Abiding-Integrity River

I went back this afternoon for some more late-light duck photos today. In this one you can see how this year's ducks are developing their adult plumage. The ones on the left are males (green heads) and the ones on the right are females with a dark line above the eye. I am trying to get packed for the long car trip, and making some progress, slowly. There was a BIG moon tonight, and also fireworks seen through the trees from the Eagle Fun Days family celebration.


I guide the boat in, anchor off island mist.
It's dusk, time a traveler's loneliness returns.

Heaven settles far and wide into the trees,
and on this clear river, a moon drifts near.

Meng Hao-Jan (689-740)

from Classical Chinese Poetry, an Anthology, translated and edited by David Hinton, Macmillan (Kindle edition) page 151.

This poem reminds me of the very first poetry class I was in at San Jose State. Robert Hass was the teacher and he began with assigning forms based on short poems from different traditions. We began with a one-line poem, then tried two-line call-and-response poems on an African model. Three line poems (natch!) were haiku. The four line poem was based on a Chinese model, like the poem above. He asked us to write a poem of four lines, each at least nine syllables long. It is a lovely practice!!

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