cold mountain (11)

The old paths are quietest. No one whistling to his dog, or (forbid) wearing a crackling radio around his neck. No one bothering to ask the way, no one disturbing the peace. No one to test the waters of your solitude or interrupt your dreaming. No one to intrude on your meditation or pass the salt. No one to bring a bowl of soup or hold the other end of the sheet while you fold it. No one to laugh at your jokes. No one to answer your call. No one to play devil’s advocate. No one to play your advocate. No one to check the rice while you chop the carrots. No one to share a meal in warm silence, no one to notice when you don’t wake. No one to bury your body and pile the cairn, though there’s something to be said for a sky burial; my point is, you’re in your spring now. And that is not all there is.

Another lovely bout with headaches today means I’m not able to post the Chinese of this poem. See the second poem, pg. 42, here for the text.


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