Journey into the Himalayas
Remember the embers
the fire fighting sleep
the wind springing up like a ghost violated
the tent beating its elephant flaps
the waters' easy laughter
you and me
Must the tramp stamp his way
through the pines
incarnations of our long-lost brothers
they have waited so long
that their memory sleeps.
When they awake
we shall be deep in slumber.
Morning wakes up so languorous
the smouldering fire in flesh
the chant of birds
grass blue with dew
eyelids flutter and a smile
floats across the raw air
let the tin-warming begin
and then the brushing of hair.
Does a mountain talk?
Up the paths on the curves
in the clearings the tumescent earth
and big broken teeth of rock
lie here and there
and beyond the grass and the lichen
of the lower slopes
one can see the meditating face
of the mountain-- eyes closed
noble forehead firm nose
and during rains one can hear
the fremitus in its chest.
Have you bared your body
to some mountain stream
kissed its froth
let it rub your back
and stood free with your friend
in your large bathing field--
how haltingly does warmth return?
And when it has spread
and we are but names again
it is time to tread
the ribbon on the hill.
After the descent of clouds
the rain comes crashing down.
The ponies are shivering wet
their big sad eyes turned inwards
and a brown field mouse is smelling its way
back to its flooded hole.
Will it miss its tribe
and go searching to the river bank?
Seasons work a magic, the roots
clutch and drag at the slipping earth
and join the pine cones and sheep droppings
and scorpions being flushed down the slope.
Why must water fashion and destroy
give strength to lemmings on their last march
the wind dry and freeze
the sun warm and burn
the earth support and inter
why must entropy ever increase.
And yet new forms scream their beginnings
in the muddy bloody spring.
Who will their dirges sing
who will dig their homes in the slush of snow
or make them fires in the clearings in the woods?
That light on the hillside is no star
the shepherd must be talking to his wife
exchanging memories through words and otherwise
for each wears the smells of a hundred days
butter sweat urine other fluids
damp of the earth
curries herbs and smoke
for why should he revoke
and the camp ever so gently breathes.
Do you hear the whine of the darkness
and beard sprouting through the skin?
As the night softly smooths its sheets
no bears around no fearful sound
the body lying peacefully on the ground
why does the mind insist on a second journey
along the path well-trod by our tired limbs.
Fire and air
water and earth
are aplenty on the Himalayas.
Yet the mind rushes over early ghosts
school and father
friends and mother
car and clothes
and makes its way to the mountain hospice.
It is indeed unnecessary:
we are ourselves
we are ourselves
we are ourselves.