There would be lights, faintly seen, glowing
through gently swaying bamboos.
They should grow taller to one side,
perhaps to the right of the steeply arched
wooden bridge. The bamboos growing not
so tall at the left-hand side there might be a first
glimpse, merely the corner roof tiles,
hinting at the tavern itself.
To see more you could quietly step across
the carefully carved curve
over the unseen stream,
that you might see
the tavern in a bamboo grove by a bridge.
Once the Emperor used to encourage artists
through contests with a new theme each year.
In the year of the tavern in a bamboo grove
by a bridge he gave the award to the one
who painted a simple sign post, half hidden
by bamboos, bearing the single word, ‘Tavern’.