Poems of Meng Jiao
In the mountains, a letter for my cousin, to lift him up
Rocky roots of hundred-foot fir trees.
Each pooling spring, a mountain eye.
I rest in these ways of high spirits
And drink in fresh poetic inspiration.
In these unfettered spaces,
I neglect to play a farewell tune.
Instead I laugh at this hermit-child, who
Shouts and leaps in spite of his age.
Meng Jiao in the mountains. Over and over and over again. He loves the mountains at least as much as I do. And I'd love to know what he took with him when he went up there. John Muir took a coat and a knife and a pillowcase with a dried loaf of bread or three. I don't imagine Meng Jiao took much more than that. But who knows? It's too bad there wasn't a list-poem form where Tang poets listed things, like what they wore when they traveled or saw while drinking or carried into the mountains. A little of Hokusai's love for simple details would have been nice.