Sitting Alone on an Autumn Night
I sit alone sad at my whitening hair
Waiting for ten o’clock in my empty house
In the rain the hill fruits fall
Under the lamp grasshoppers sound
White hairs will never be transformed
That elixir is beyond creation
To eliminate decrepitude
Study the absolute.
They aren't grasshoppers, as feliciter has pointed out elsewhere, and the Zen moral rather passes over me; but I'm very fond of the first four lines.
My freezer was starting to smell manky so I bought some boxes of baking soda, noting the banner on the side: 'Change every 30 days' (not 'every 15 months'.) Looked at the back, which recommends using baking soda straight up to clean counters and stovetops. Tried it. Dear god, it works like a miracle. Stuff that takes Goof-off (a heavy-duty cleaner reserved for, ohh, paint spills, tire grease, crayons on walls etc) and steel wool yields to baking soda and a soft cloth. Just mentioning for anyone who needs to know.
Last verse of that poem more literally:
白发终难变 (White hairs ultimately difficult to alter)
黄金不可成 (Gold cannot be made <-- the futility of alchemy and the like to create elixirs of life)
欲知除老病 (Wishing to be rid of age and sickness)
唯有学无生 (Only way is to learn not to live) <-- i.e. to cleanse one's heart of desires and emotions