How’s that for a catchy title? Bái lù zài lù biān.
This egret had flown over from the estuary to light on our front yard, already graced with palmetto and agave.
I set about wondering what the Mandarin is, afflicted as I have become with sinophilia, first relapse in almost forty years.
A few finger hops produced 鹭 heron, egret proper being 白鹭 bái lù, white heron.
Homophony is common in Chinese, therefore a regular poetic device. Once I noticed that the sound of 鹭 heron is the same as road 路 lù, and recalled the sound of 白 white bái, the colour of mourning and death, I what now seems instantaneously composed my first five character line of classical verse.
bái lù zài lù biān
An egret lit on the roadside
Probably amateurish to a trained eye, but it’s my first one. Now I keep imagining where this verse can go.
Whoa minute! It already is a poem. If you are willing to allow I am the egret.