for rocks and flowing water

crags ©papa osmubal

crags ©papa osmubal


for rocks and flowing water

kit kelen

1
the north wind bites
at crags
which cannot be scenic
but for the water
and the woods below

river goes where feet won’t
still I’m drawn on
into this night

2
flows into the mountain
to distances on

a voice upon stones
bright
brings views of elsewhere

ten thousand voices
sort to season

sun, moon in glimpses
rosy peaks
from clouds are grown

and gone
I must move higher

3
my stick
brings me everywhere

of the trail it was made
foolish legs won’t carry me home now

look at me —lichen
grown on a river bend

so the caged bird is muted
the royal horse brought to heel

it’s not the right time
and never the right time

the superior man’s
biggest sneer
for himself

silence
a duty
to mountains and mists

4 snow peaks in the tarn
a sprinkling of stars

the river runs too fast to rhyme

dark waterweeds
moss floating

to tame
the in and out
heart mind
begin with observation

5
waves come through the hollow of valley
they deafen
water so fast it peels the fish scales

the mountain is sharp
its ridge drills the sky

steep earth hewn stairs
and dangerous planks

these lean against
the blue, the green

immortals fly
on fine boned wings

from great heights
one exaggerates

mere duckweed
my view here
the forest below

6 notes in clear water
tunes of cold stars

to wash old things
brings back the colour

I drink from snow melted
not from the stream
which passes men’s haunts

smooth marble has a sharp edge
jade is dense, is matted, like grass

river and valley
mortar and pestle

the argument of right and wrong
and always wrung one way

7
go deep into the valley
go high for the best views

past paths, past every human trace
escape the vulgar world

forget mortality, daily things

foolish beasts will not fear people
thus they’re tricked with nets

equality of poor and rich
comes only at this height

see scholars clean like clouds
and thin, so thin, dissolving

8
ten thousand zithers
the discord of town
where here the one stream sings

old men keep their strength
but when the wind blows
lean in to the cliff

to learn among mountains
the peaceful mind
never need be calmed

9
I crossed the south river in the great wind
today I climb for the view

most things in the mountains seem gaunt
nights ice and the days cast in shadowless snow

gaze into the depth of jade iced over
still the spring sings

no mending old worries
dragons hide their scales to float

fish leap for new poems
forget the old

the moon is yet to hang on sparse summits
not even the sun knows where it will fall

10
shall we visit the virtuous in first light?
this mountain’s thick with hermits

the wind like a brush
over inkstone and valley

how angrily
a river flows
to set down

the lure of all things
in spite of their wildness

just here
where I’ve sought
to lose my way

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