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The Drowned Immortal


When an Immortal misbehaves,

his penance is to live with men

until, reborn among their graves,

he dies to join the gods again.


One such soul was called Li Po.

Too whimsical for palace life,

the poet roved, incognito,

unfettered by a son or wife.


Spurning the aristocracy,

he traipsed tipsily through the South

and left his deathless poetry

to grace many a drunkard's mouth.


One night, teaching the moon to sing,

he bent close to her mirrored face.

The jealous river, listening,

gathered him in her chill embrace


Timothy Murphy



From Very Far North, The Waywiser
Press, London, England, 2002.
Reprinted by permission of the author.

Background by
Lavender Gardens

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