Ascending the cold mountain by train
at an angle defying 4 am logic
on a morning unblinged by stars or moon
we tourists are stuffed and zipped
into cypress green army jackets
to keep all five hundred of us steaming
like the hot pots of jin xuan tea
we’ll sip at the summit
to honor the dawn.
Which reminds me of the poet
when he wrote
on a stone
or a piece of bark
or the side of a house
Find a magic melon in your dream!
Steal a sacred orange from the palace!
Far away from your native land…
must’ve been imagining this fiery orb
floating up like a holy fruit through
these flaming mountains
here at Alishan.
Original photo by Michael Cannings via Wikimedia Commons.
Han Shan quotes from poem #13, The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain, translated by Bill Porter (Red Pine), Copper Canyon Press, 2000.