On Returning to WheelRim River

At the canyon's mouth, a far-off bell stirs.
Woodcutters and fishermen scarcer still,

sunset distant in these distant mountains,
I verge on white clouds, returning alone.

Frail water-chestnut vines never settle,
and light cottonwood blossoms fly easily.

Spring grass coloring the east ridge, all
ravaged promise, I close my bramble gate.


From Mountain Home: The Wilderness Poetry of Ancient China, forthcoming from New Directions.