Tu Fu on the Yangtze
by Bob Bradshaw

Once the Emperor looked to poets for advice
the way a farmer watches the weather
Now he listens to his concubine.

That is why I'm on the Yangtze,
adrift with no more sense of direction

than the duckweed that drifts by.
The monkeys on the riverbank shriek

their pleasures and unhappiness
without regard to what I think.

For now I am water slipping
silently over stones, a river

forced to wander.

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