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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Selected Verses of "Cold Mountain," written by Han-Shan-one of my favorite poems

"People ask the way to Cold Mountain
Cold Mountain: there's no through trail.
In summer ice doesn't melt,
The rising sun blurs in swirling fog.

Clambering up the Cold Mountain path
The trail goes on and on.
The long gorge choked with scree and boulders,
The wide creek, the mist-blurred grass.
The moss is slippery, though there's been no rain.
The pine sings, but there's no wind.

Cold Mountain is a house
Without beams or walls.
The six doors left and right are open,
The hall is blue sky

The rooms all vacant and vague,
The east wall beats on the west wall,
At the center nothing.

If I hide out at Cold Mountain
Why worry?
Days and months slip by like water,
Time is like sparks knocked off flint.
I'm happy to sit among these cliffs.

Gone, and a million things leave no trace
Loosed, and it flows through the galaxies
A fountain of light, into the very mind."

"His poems were written on the walls of cliffs, on rocks and trees; they were in the colloquial T'ang, direct and uncomplicated, born out of experience, not romanticized beauty. Han-Shan called Cold Mountain his home, but it is more than that - Han-Shan is Cold Mountain. The road to Cold Mountain was his path to enlightenment."

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