Whether in victory or defeat
with all the risks of war
not knowing why
or what it is or where
nothing redeems like coming home.
Li Po mistaking the moon-lit floor
for frost on the ground looks up
at the moon in the mountains
and thinks of home. (2)
test bird bangs into cage bars
And at birth when life
to breathe the vital mortal air
though there be nothing there
we want it still
feeling its presence not knowing why
or what it is or where.
(1)Rabbinically, god’s presence in the world. It is said the term’s feminine form gave rise to mystical expression of God’s feminine attributes. Hebrew: שכינה
(2)My paraphrase of Chinese, T’ang Dynasty poet known also as Li Bai, 701–762.