Cold Mountain

by Colin Oliver

Original Language English

(After Han Shan)

When I came to Cold Mountain
I made my home among pines
at the foot of a green cliff.
Yet who is here? Cold Mountain:
a vacant house. Jagged peaks,
white clouds and crying monkeys.

After a shower rocks gleam
and Cold Mountain from high peak
down to green border shimmers.
I wander by a clear stream,
watch pebbles in the water,
slip about on the wet moss.

In a valley where mist hangs
I sit by a rock, stay clear,
and see no inside or out.
At sunset, arriving home,
I stretch and take off my cap,
find it beaded with moisture.

I fetch water from the pool
where the herons fish; I share
the mountain fruit with monkeys.
At the centre I have found
a jewel and gained nothing.
The wind hums in the pine trees.

-- from Stepping Into Brilliant Air, by Colin Oliver

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The Longing in Between: Sacred Poetry from Around the World (A Poetry Chaikhana Anthology) Stepping Into Brilliant Air Nothing But This Moment

Cold Mountain