I am thinking about taxes today. The accountant called to tell me he was sending the completed forms which I need to sign and return. Meanwhile he will file the data electronically. I am lazy about learning how to do this electronically myself and the man is a retired IRS accountant so I'm sure everything is totally correct; that assurance is worth paying for.
In my reading of poetry lately, as I've mentioned, I've read a number of translations from early Chinese poets. As we all know, taxes have been around a long, long time and we've heard the Biblical admonishment about rendering unto Caesar ... Here is a poem from Po Chu-I who livee 722-846 CE. He was a tax gatherer -- I wonder what my tax man would have to say about this tax collector's way of life.
After Collecting the Autumn Taxes
From these high walls I look at the town below
where the natives of Pa cluster like a swarm of flies.
How can I govern these people and lead them aright?
I cannot even understand what they say.
But at least I am glad now that the taxes are in.
To learn that in my province there is no discontent.
I fear its prosperity is not due to me
and was only caused by the year's abundant crops.
The papers I have to deal with are simple and few;
My arbor by the lake is leisurely and still.
In the autumn rain the berries fall from the eaves;
at the evening bell the birds return to the wood.
A broken sunlight quavers over the southern porch
were I lie on my couch abandoned to idleness.
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