Once there was a rocky path winding up
this old stone mountain, though it long ago
succumbed to an overgrowth of wild vegetation.
Perhaps it’s just as well, since I’m not going
anywhere anymore — I’m fine right where I am.
If anyone wants to find me, they ought to scrutinize
their motives – would it really be worth the effort
to track down this useless old bag of bones?
When I first met my old master, he invited me to join
him on his mountain. “Come with me”, he smiled.
As it was, he’d prepared a guillotine for me.
When I finally managed to get away, it was only
a headless corpse that walked from there downhill.
I marinated in the spicy stew of the world for a while,
long enough to recognize that I had two hands,
a beating heart, and two good feet.
Lazing around the murky backwaters of mere knowledge
and experience, I bided my time among the denizens
of the red dust towns who slaved for bowls of rice.
Having dined enough at the smoke and mirror buffet
on the world’s meager charades, I finally washed my plate,
then made my way to this humble hut high above the clouds.
Here, sky-deep in dawn, I wade happily along the pristine
streams where sleek rainbow-colored trout go leaping,
impaling themselves on beaming streaks of light.
A primal ecstasy engulfs me here, thrills me beyond
saying, till in the chilled euphoric quake of clear-light
morning majesty, I slip into the nameless — I am gone.

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