A Good Place to Settle

Ink on Artistico + Fabriano paper
With one seal of the artist: 攜杖老人 Xiezhang laoren (‘The old man who carries the staff’)
Image size 48.5 x 39.1 cm
May 2012


I wanted a good place to settle,
Cold mountain would be safe.
Light wind in a hidden pine,
Listen closely, the sound gets better.
Under it a grey-haired man,
Mumbles along reading Zhuang and Lao.
For ten years I haven't gone back home,
I've even forgotten the way by which I came.

I once went in search of the monastery where Han Shan was reputed to stay, not because I knew of his poetry then, but because he sounded like an entertaining fellow.  But by the time I arrived he had left, and no-one knew where to find him.  It was only many centuries later that a friend presented me with a slim volume of his poems.  Now I seek him out with the brush. 

Inscribed by the Master of the Water, Pine and Stone Retreat in the early summer of the year 2012.