97

My mind is like the autumn moon
Shining clean and clear in the green pool.
No, that’s not a good comparison.
Tell me, how shall I explain?

—Cold Mountain

Overgrown Garden

My house is at the foot of the green cliff,

My garden, a jumble of weeds I no longer bother

    to mow.

New vines dangle in twisted strands

Over old rocks rising steep and high.

Monkeys make off with the Mountain fruits,

The white Heron crams his bill with fish

    from the pond,

While I, with a book or two of the Immortals,

Read under the trees–mumble, mumble.

–Cold Mountain

65

Yesterday I saw the trees by the river’s edge,
Wrecked and broken beyond belief,
Only two or three trunks left standing,
Scarred by blades of a thousand axes.
Frost strips the yellowing leaves,
River waves pluck at withered roots.
This is the way the living must fare.
Why curse at Heaven and Earth?

—Hanshan – Cold Mountain

Love the Children Anyway

103

No need to attack the faults of others
no need to flaunt your own virtues
act when you’re acknowledged
retire when you’re ignored
rich rewards mean great trials
deep words meet superficial minds
think about what you hear
children must see for themselves

-Hanshan

34

The rich man feasted in his high hall,
Bright torches shining everywhere,
When a man too poor to own a lamp
Crept to the side to share in the glow.
Who would think they would drive him away,
Back again to his place in the dark?
“Will one more person detract from your light?
Strange, to begrudge me a leftover beam!”

—Cold Mountain

62

“High, high from the summit of the peak,

Whatever way I look, no limit in sight!

No one knows I am sitting here alone.

A solitary moon shines in the cold spring.

Here in the spring—-this is not the moon.

The moon is where it always is—-in the sky above.

And though I sing this one little song,

In the song there is no Zen.”

—Cold Mountain 🏔 aka Hanshan

The Gates Are Open No. 2

In the deepest dark of the Abyss, I sought my escape. 

I heard someone say, “There is no way back unless you find your light.”

No way back unless I find my light?

💡


Hmmmm.

Sounded like some New Age bullshit to me. 

I heard someone say, “If you want to come and see me, you can do so from any and every direction, all the gates are open, there is no concealment. In fact it is ‘All Gate’ and nothing else!”

What a strange thing to say in the middle of the dark. 

When the dark is all around you, what direction should you go?

There is no direction in the dark.

The separation had existed in my mind only. 

I was already that which I had sought.

I was the prison and I was the free bird.

And then I was home again, just like that.

There was a great celebration. 

Everyone came to greet me and we all laughed and laughed until my stomach hurt. Like when you have had too much sweet candy.

And I thought to myself…what a strange dream 😴 😴 😴

The Saddest Thing

Reading from The Collected Songs of Cold 🥶 Mountain – 187

What is the saddest thing in the world

the rafts of sin people build to reach hell

ignoring the man in the clouds and cliffs

with one thin robe for the shores of his life

in autumn he lets the leaves fall

in spring he lets the trees bloom

he sleeps through the three realms free of concerns

with moonlight and wind for his home

—Cold Mountain 🥶 ⛰

in between

flower petal falls

water feels the earth

rain falls on ocean