Reading Lu Yu In Winter
I wonder how he was able to bear the cold of China,
Traveling the rivers and outpost roads.
The fires he wrote about were always small,
A few willow twigs or scraps of bark.
Often there was the damp smell
Of smoke at night from the miserable
Villages built along the curving shores of rivers
Always rising or falling, muddy and wide.
Today the trees are all bare.
How they endure the longer nights and the darker days,
Standing on the very ground where they will die.
The wind blows down from Minnesota
For the second week.
Wasn’t it Lu Yu who wrote that all the questions of great concern
Had been asked and then raised his wine cup to the great void?
I mostly go nowhere,
And I’m not sure of anything.
There’s not even a river passing by
To honor with a poem.
to subscribers in our print and digital editions.
Personal. Political. Provocative. Ad-free. Subscribe to The Sun and save 45%.