You ask why I’ve settled in these emerald mountains:
I smile, mind of itself perfectly idle, and say nothing.
Peach blossoms drift streamwater away deep in mystery
here, another heaven and earth, nowhere people know.
– Li Po (“Mountain Dialogue”)
To and from their peach tree roost
the quail trail in at dawn and dusk
like heavy heifers on parade
from shade to water trough
before they graze the waves of dry,
blond hillsides bent to a breeze.
An evening tree frog leaves a centerpiece
of succulents at six o’clock, short hops
to table’s edge and leaps for misters
on timers, scales the green swords of iris
for the wet scent of lavender and more—
crawls back at dawn like a drunk home.
We meet the mystery of nowhere
in a slow dance of seasonal cycles
returning new over and over again.