Meng's mountain

by Stephen Levine


Original Language English

Breathing out I approach the mountain
Breathing in the mountain approaches me.
Following the barely visible
trail through evolution,
following the Milky Way
across the top of the skull
into the star field
at the back of the mind,
pressing forward as sudden
wordless understanding.
My longing is a rope bridge
across icy ravines and empty compliments.
My arms grow tired and fall away,
vertebra by vertebra the hanging gardens drift
up the spine to reveal the 27 heavens.
Bare attention! my face slips from my bare skull,
chest opening to expose Jacob halfway up the ladder.
He longs for the horizon.
So light this passage one must carry
a cicada in each hand to keep the sutras
honest on the lips and in the heart,
that maps the way.

-- from Breaking the Drought: Visions of Grace, by Stephen Levine

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Meng's mountain