Published on March 5th, 2014 | by msalt


Poems After Drinking Wine (#5)

How can you find meditative quiet in a busy city? The Taoist poet T’ao Ch’ien (365 – 427 C.E.) knows.
There is a whole genre of Taoist drinking poems — a topic for anothe day.

I built my hut beside a busy road
Yet I hear no noise of passing carts and horses.
You ask me how this is possible. Well,
When the mind is detached, one’s place is remote.

Picking chrysanthemums by the eastern hedge
I catch sight of the distant southern hills.
The mountain air is lovely as the sun sets,
and flocks of birds fly home together.
In these things, there is a fundamental truth.
I want to explain it, but there are no words.

(photo by Jon Sullivan)

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About the Author

Mark Saltveit is a writer, standup comedian, skimboarder and dad based in Middlebury, Vermont. His improv show "Palindrome Fight!" will be at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Aug. 5-29th 2022 at the Kilderkin Pub, 67 Canongate, at 7:30pm each night except Tuesdays.

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