Thursday, September 24, 2015

Last Hike (Shitao), Sonnet # 262

If there is anything, there's no last hike.
Standing above the clouds with my old friend,
We contemplate the imminent end
Of sunlight and the scolding of the shrike,
Guarding his bugs impaled in the bramble.
The mists roil, mass, thin, darken, briefly part,
Revealing mist. Up and back, we amble
Along the precipice. It's time to start
Back, though it's harder to relinquish time
Stepping down than to find it as you climb.
So, we find we have been frozen, like rock,
Our marbled eyes fixed on the blinding glare
Of saturated and sun-glazed air --
In there, the dripping of a water clock.