This weekend, I joined her children, grandchildren, and other adopted souls like myself, and took Elke’s ashes to her beloved woods house. It has been a sanctuary to many, not least of all that fire-breathing little woman who built a retreat there. Over half a century, that place became an expression of her creative soul, as she found a place where the land spoke to her. It is fitting that she will abide there.
And this poem, as interpreted by the luminous Okaji, somehow speaks of her.
Peach Blossom (after Li Po)
Ask why I stay on the green mountain
and I smile but do not answer; my heart rests.
A peach blossom floats downstream –
Heaven and earth, apart from this world.
The transliteration on Chinese-poems.com is as follows:
Ask me what reason stay green mountain
Smile but not answer heart self idle
Peach blossom flow water far go
Apart have heaven earth in human world
There the poem is titled “Question and Answer on the Mountain.”
“Peach Blossom” is included in my micro-chapbook You Break What Falls, available via free download from the Origami Poems Project.
What is a micro-chapbook, you might ask? In this case, it consists of six short poems on one sheet of paper, folded (hence origami) to form a chapbook. You may download it, free of charge, here: http://www.origamipoems.com/poets/236-robert-okaji
Oh, yes. Folding instructions are on the Origami Poems Project site.