Water & Water


The first glass moistened my lips;
The second banished my loneliness;
The third sharpened my inspiration;
The fourth expelled all my troubles;
The fifth cleansed every part of my soul;
The sixth made me kin to the immortals;
The seventh – I can take no more!


Fish in the basket!
Mud-fish and tench.
Our host has good wine
In a great store.

Fish in the basket!
Flat-backed and carp.
Our host has good wine
More than enough.


There is a long and honourable tradition of drunken poets in China! 
It is also likely that the ancient shamans, 
from whose utterances some of the poems 
of the ancient book of poetry arise, 
used alcohol to assist their trances. 
The proverb will make sense to anyone who has drunk deep! 
Enjoy life; party; celebrate – but don’t make the mistake
of thinking that you really can become an immortal this way. 
Real life is not about losing yourself in indulgence, 
but finding yourself through time and patience.

©Loes Raaphorst 10/2005