small stone (233)

There is only the soft-flesh sky, the cut of the waning moon ornamenting dawn’s collar-bones. That tender place, where morning pulses.

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cold mountain (10)

Sitting alone. The cliffs and peaks of the self. Got lost in my own valleys. That old moon again: the shadows lengthen like a tide through the night and are longest just before dawn. Who starts at the zenith and skips the ascendance? No one. There’s an echo traveling the empty tracts and wastes. A finger trailed in the water leaves no trace. But that’s what we’ve been about all along, me and the dark minnows kissing my heels. Chiaroscuro of waking life, it’s what isn’t in the light that makes the remainder so alluring.

巖前獨靜坐
園月堂天耀
萬象影現中
一輪本無照
廓然神自淸
含虛洞玄妙
因指見其月
月是心樞要

cold mountain (9)

The torn passage from evening to dawn. The sun hasn’t set, just slipped away unstable, unreliable; look, the moon past full a week hanging like a bright spot of mold. Time scrubs it away and then it grows again. I slept and rent my clothes from me in dreaming, woke and put on my face again. The day’s a seamless whole stiched together from the fingernails that old man chewed off in the night. Catch your sleeve on them, caught whispering words in a language no one taught you.

欲向東巖去
于今無量年
昨來攀葛上
半路困風煙
徑窄衣難進
菭粘履不前
住茲丹桂下
且枕白雲眠

The internet gods are kind tonight and I was able to get the characters for the poem. As charming as amateur calligraphy might be, it’s nice to see the poem in a font, too.