Bending to drink from a clear mountain pool
in the cooling shade of a late afternoon,
I glimpsed my reflection and laughed out loud –
I saw a head grown wild with hair,
no longer known to its owner!
The waving tail of the squirrel in the pine
is a signpost to the treasure room;
the intimate breeze ascending the spine
is a welcoming cry from the waiting bride;
the heart that’s pierced in the dark of night
bleeds out in the snow all it once dreamt of light.
What do we long for most of all, when autumn leaves
begin to fall? Like salty tears wept into the sea, one dream
melts into the next – though nothing remains forever
hidden, neither is anything fully revealed.
In the enormity of dusk’s darkening presence,
where the dramas of the seen are eclipsed
by scenes not seen, that thief of sight, the night,
tips the empty sky bowl over, spilling its unseen light
on sleepers dreaming, wrapped up in warm soft sheets
of white, absorbed for now behind shut eyelids,
intermittently flickering in dreamy delight.
At midnight, who will hear the moon’s subtle sigh
as it leaves its bed to wander through lit clouds,
wreathed in the perfume of transience?
There’s nothing special about this night’s full moon
to suggest that it may be my last. I peer out
from the open mouth of my homey cave,
as if for the final time, or the first.
The rain this morning gently washed away
the dust from the mountain daffodils —
the glorious shine from their petals
pierced straight to heaven with blinding light!
Now, a great owl perched on a pine bough
quietly surveys the settling evening, composed
and ready for the hunt. When it swoops down
for the swift sure kill, not one voice will cry out
a warning. At the pond, not a ripple will stir.