Jacques Bonhomme Complains of the Useless Stars

I see on high the Milky Way,
But here’s a rougher road.
The Sacred Oxen shining stand;
They do not draw our load.

The Sieve is sparkling in the South,
But good and ill come through.
The Ladle opens wide its mouth,
And pours out naught for you.

At dawn the Weaving Sisters sleep,
At dusk they rise again;
But though their Shining Shuttle flies,
They weave no robe for men.

Translated from Chinese by Helen Waddell


2 thoughts on “Jacques Bonhomme Complains of the Useless Stars

  1. Faye

    What a beautiful but very sad poem. I’m happy to say for me I view it all very differently With all the complexities of good and evil manifesting in our natural world. Looking upwards is where I glean both my inspiration and my Hope. Have a great week!


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