I only write about tea to lend purpose to my photographs.

Lu Yu

A couple of weeks ago, one of the cats knocked Lu Yu off of the tea table, severing his teapot from the rest of him. I was going to glue it back, but I kind of like the way it is now.

Crows Calling at Night
– written by Li Bai, who also lived during the Tang Dynasty, but was Lu Yu’s senior, by a couple of decades.

Yellow clouds beside the walls; crows near the tower.
Flying back, they caw, caw; calling in the boughs.
In the loom she weaves brocade, the Qin river girl.
Made of emerald yarn like mist, the window hides her words.
She stops the shuttle, sorrowful, and thinks of the distant man.
She stays alone in the lonely room, her tears just like the rain.

Here is the untranslated original, from this collection of Chinese poems:


  1. Wow. What a lucky break! I’m glad old Lu survived the fall!

    • I’m glad his head didn’t get knocked off. I have asked the cats to chase each other somewhere other than across the tea table, but they never listen.

  2. A couple weeks ago, went to the Chicago Botanic Garden, and they have an extensive show of bonsai trees. Quite often, the trees would come in two pieces: the tree itself and a smaller object (perhaps a tree, or a tiny “viewing” stone, or some such), which together would add a narrative element to the work.

    Which is what your picture makes me think of! See? I did have a point.

    • Lu Yu’s normal position is next to a bonsai pot that has a garden of tiny succulents and a very small ceramic pagoda in it, so it’s all relevant.

  3. he’s gorgeous. did you remember what vendor he came from?