Bei DaoDavid Hinton



a sower walks into the great hall
it's war out there, he says
and you awash in emptiness
you've sworn off your duty to sound the alarm
I've come in the name of fields
it's war out there

I walk out from that great hall
all four directions a boundless harvest scene
I start planning for war
rehearsing death
and the crops I burn
send up the wolf-smoke of warning fires

but something haunts me furiously:
he's sowing seed across marble floors