Seeking Taoist Chang by the Southern Creek

Liu, Chang-Qing (709 A.D.-785 A.D.)

Along my way to Chang's house I saw the tracks of clogs on the moss.
The white clouds nestled in the quiet place surrounded by the water.
The fragrant grass screened the closed 1, serene door from the sun's glare.
I looked at the pine trees while it rained.
By following the mountain path, I arrived at the water's head.
When watching peach flowers by the creek in the light of Zen 2,
I had no words to convey my feelings 3.

1 The closed door implies that Taoist Chang was not at home.

2 Zen is a term in Buddhism. It refers to intuitive epiphany which is often obscured by a complicated description of one's feelings.

3 The poem "Drinking Wine", written by Yuan-ming Tao, says, "There is a true meaning in drinking wine./ I try to convey my understanding, but I have no words for it." "Have no words" says that the understanding can only be sensed, but cannot be put into words. According to Tao's philosophy of study, the best understanding requires putting the object into proper perspective. An explanation with too much detail will put the object too close to one's mind's eye and thereby obscure its true meaning.