On Stone-Gate Mountain's Highest Peak
I started thinking of impossible cliffs at dawn
And by evening was settled on a mountaintop,
Scarcely a peak high enough to face this hut
Looking out on mountains veined with streams,
Forests stretching away beyond its gate,
A tumble of talus boulders ending at the stairs.
Mountains crowd around, blocking out roads,
And trails wander bamboo confusions,
Leaving guests to stray on clever
New paths coming up
Or doubt old ways leading people back home.
Hissing cascades murmuring through dusk,
The wail of gibbons howling away the night,
I keep to the inner pattern, deep in meditation,
And nurturing this Way, never wander amiss.
Mind now a twin to stark late autumn trees
While eyes delight in the flowering of spring,
I inhabit the constant and wait out the end,
Content to dwell at ease in all change and loss,
In this regret there's no kindred spirit here
To climb this ladder of azure clouds with me.
- Hsieh Ling-yun (385-433)