Strong in the Rain

by Roger Pulvers

Strong in the rain
Strong in the wind
Strong against the summer heat
and snow
He is healthy and robust
Free from desire
He never loses his temper
Nor the quiet smile on his lips
He eats four gō of unpolished rice
Miso and a few vegetables a day
He does not consider himself
In whatever occurs … his
understanding
Comes from observation and
experience
And he never loses sight of things
He lives in a little thatched-roof hut
In a field in the shadows of a pine
tree grove
If there is a sick child in the east
He goes there to nurse the child
If there’s a tired mother in the west
He goes to her and carries her sheaves
If someone is near death in the south
He goes and says, “Don’t be afraid”
If there are strife and lawsuits in
the north
He demands that the people put
an end to their pettiness
He weeps at the time of drought
He plods about at a loss during
the cold summer
Everyone calls him “Blockhead”
No one sings his praises
Or takes him to heart
That is the kind of person
I want to be

Translated by Roger Pulvers (* One gō of rice is equivalent to about 150 grams)