by tendo zenji
Climbing Green-Cliff Mountain in Yung-Chia
Taking a little food, a light walking-stick,
I wander up to my home in quiet mystery
the path along streams winding far away
onto ridgetops, no end to this wonder at
slow waters silent in their frozen beauty
and bamboo glistening at heart with frost,
cascades scattering a confusion of spray
and broad forests crowding distant cliffs.
Thinking it’s moonrise I see in the west
and sunset I’m watching blaze in the east,
I hike on until dark, then linger out night
sheltered away in deep expanses of shadow.
Immune to high importance: that’s renown.
Walk humbly and it’s all promise in beauty,
for in quiet mystery the way runs smooth,
ascending remote heights beyond compare.
utter tranquility, the distinction between
yes this and no that lost, I embrace primal
unity, thought and silence woven together,
that deep healing where we venture forth.
translated by David Hinton
in The Mountain Poems of Hsieh Ling-yün