Poems of Meng Jiao
Responding to Monk Zhou, who should stop bad-mouthing poetry
Sad cries of a young phoenix.
Tinkling sounds of pearl-white stones.
The owl shatters the full moon with his cries
As the crane rises with his pure heart.
Wei River cannot be tainted.
Jing's flow encroaches, but in vain.
My simple companions sing among the peach trees
As the hermits chant to their cassia lutes.
Children of the wild truly leave enduring legacies.
The surface they float on hides its profundities.
The owl, symbol of evil, is Monk Zhou. The crane, symbol of integrity, is Meng Jiao. The Wei, symbol of China's continuous history and culture, is Meng Jiao's milieu. Its Jing tributary, symbol of which eludes me but I'm sure it has an appropriate significance, is Monk Zhou's diminished viewpoint. Meng Jiao is so Henry Thoreau. If you listen, you can hear them singing together in the arbor of immortal peaches which encircles Walden Pond.