Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mountain Hymns

In the careful garden that she planted,
Nanda sits, leaning on a cloud
I wander east to west
Along the white ridge
From the forests of Bir
To the stupas of Dharamshala
The blue sky flashes above me
Like Manjushri’s sword.
I stand on the lip of the world
Above a sea of clouds
A sparrow dives
A butterfly rises
In the forest above
Live those who are never seen.
On the rock of the moon
The wind rises
A thousand shrieking phantoms
Then a sudden silence
Lonely cairns mark the gates
A pillar of white cloud
Approaches, flickering with lightning
The gates are open
Your dark body shimmers like smoke
In your heart, a red lotus
You laugh like thunder
What would I see
If I opened my eyes?
Mountains walk in through your mind
And walk out through your toes
Rivers flow from mountain roots
And into the sea they go
This vast land sleeps tonight
From valley bottom to mountain top
In the still, dark embrace of Tara
An empty bowl
Of trees, women, beasts.
Little Sonam plays on a bed of apricots
They shine like tiny pieces of the sun
And dazzle the still, blue sky.
At the end of the day
A blush steals up on proud Badri’s face
The dying peals of Shiva’s bell
Rise up like fireflies
And are caught in Chandrashila’s embrace
Beside my tent, a riot of blue
Of shy gentians that nod and sway
When Aksobhya moves through them
Like an invisible breeze.