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Two Poems on Poverty
.

I had
a bowl once
but it filled up
with dust

my ribs
stick out
like
empty spoons

I used
to smell bad
but even that
ran away

a penny?
a penny?
it’s too heavy to hold…

..

From Han Shan
This poem is my version of #25 from Han Shan’s Cold Mountain

The swaying grain is not yet ripe
my bowl is empty with the last of the old
I went to a neighbor to borrow some meal
and stood at their gate hesitating

the husband first, came to the door
and said for me to speak to his wife
the wife came out to see what’s the matter
listened, then said go ask my husband

too stingy to help when times are hard
wealth seems to make some all the more hungry.

—————-

poor / and not knowing it /is not poor at all

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