Plain Text Transmissions

Back Home Again Chant

Go back home.  

The garden will soon be overgrown, what are you waiting for?   

I submitted my soul to corporal needs,  

is this why I feel empty and alone?  

The past cannot be changed, I know,  

but the future is there to be had.  

Not yet past the point of no return,  

where I was wrong yesterday, today I am right.  

  

  

My boat glides lightly and gently rocks,  

my clothes are pushed about by gusts of wind.  

I ask a traveler for the way forward,  

and feel sadness upon seeing the first weak rays of dawn.  

Seeing my old shack in the distance a feeling of joy overcomes me.   

I hasten forward.  

Young servants greet me halfway smiling,  

as my children peek from behind the gate.  

While weeds obscure the path to the door,  

the chrysanthemum and pines remain as before.  

Holding my children I enter the shack,  

a jug of wine waits on the table.  

  

  

Alone and content, I lift the jug and sip.  

Seeing branches in the courtyard lifts my spirit   

and I’m elevated leaning against the south-facing window.  

This small simple room puts me at ease.  

My daily garden walks delight.  

Although we have a door to receive guests  

it’s usually closed.  

Breaks puncture cane-supported strolls,  

my gaze often focuses on distant scenes:  

clouds spilling naturally over mountains,  

birds weary of flight knowing to return home.  

The horizon welcomes a darkened sun,  

I loiter, leaning against a solitary pine.  

  

  

Go back home.  

Put to rest the meaningless banter,  

society and I are diametrically opposed.   

What could I gain by returning to court?  

My family's warm words bring me joy,  

music and reading dispel lurking dark clouds.  

The farmers bring news of spring's imminent arrival,  

and soon there will be work in the western fields.  

At times I drive a simple wagon or paddle a boat,   

slip through secluded valleys or climb above rolling hills,  

all alone.  

The trees are in their apex of glory,  

when a stream's trickle turns into a flow.  

I like it when everything blossoms,  

conscious the journey of my life is coming to a close.  

  

  

That's enough!  

I still have some time in this world,  

I'll live my life by following my heart.  

Why be anxious? What are you trying to attain?  

Riches and fame mean nothing to me,  

and I don't ever expect to see the fabled lands.  

Cherishing good times I wander alone,  

and tend to vegetable sprouts leaning on my cane.  

I could climb East Hill and chant unencumbered,  

or face clear flowing water and recite poems.  

Following the natural way and returning to where we come from,  

finding happiness in fate, what doubts could remain?  

 

歸去來兮辭

歸去來兮  

田園將蕪,胡不歸  

既自以心為形役  

奚惆悵而獨悲  

悟已往之不諫  

知來者可追  

實迷途其未遠  

覺今是而昨非  

  

舟遙遙以輕揚  

風飄飄而吹衣  

問征夫以前路  

恨晨光之熹微  

乃瞻衡宇  

載欣載奔  

僮僕歡迎  

稚子候門  

三徑就荒  

松菊猶存  

攜幼入室  

有酒盈樽  

  

引壺觴以自酌,  

眄庭柯以怡顏。  

倚南窗以寄傲,  

審容膝之易安  

園日涉以成趣  

門雖設而常關  

策扶老以流憩  

時矯首而遐觀  

雲無心以出岫  

鳥倦飛而知還  

景翳翳以將入  

撫孤松而盤桓  

歸去來兮  

請息交以絕遊  

世與我而相違  

復駕言兮焉求  

悅親戚之情話  

樂琴書以消憂  

農人告余以春及  

將有事於西疇  

或命巾車  

或棹孤舟  

既窈窕以尋壑  

亦崎嶇而經丘。  

木欣欣以向榮  

泉涓涓而始流  

善萬物之得時  

感吾生之行休。  

  

已矣乎!  

寓形宇內復幾時,  

曷不委心任去留,  

胡為遑遑欲何之  

富貴非吾願  

帝鄉不可期  

懷良辰以孤往  

或植杖而耘耔  

登東皋以舒嘯  

臨清流而賦詩  

聊乘化以歸盡  

樂夫天命復奚疑