Monday, January 7, 2008


Out of the wide blue skies of early winter
The cuckoo's melody rings.
May we free this body, born of nonexistence,
And reach the shining vessel of serenity.

On those hills of feathergrass a thousand years ago,
I thought of my mount, his neigh was silver trumpeting.
And on those hills, not a thousand years hence,
I see still the power of this horse's line.

In the flooding brightness of the morning, the sun
Pours into the eyes, an offering to the body.
Its rays drive out the worldly dust and grime -
May they liberate and purify all things.

The dew glistens when the horse shakes down,
A swallow brushes against his thoroughbred ears.
His neighing is not a mating call -
It's like the mind's calling to desires far away.

The sun's orb makes the blue sky hazy,
The khan's stride encompasses the steppes.
The meadow flowers turn their fragrant bodies,
And the smoke of burning dung rises overhead.

In ancient times, my ancestors
Moved their bellowing camels between pastures.
They dug with bronze arrowheads,
Slept there for years under the feathergrass.

The wheels of the sturdy cart don't break the flowers.
Birds squash their eggs, making way for the horses' hooves.
The animals enjoy peace without suffering -
There's nowhere else such wonderful country.

We've played the fiddle in the shade of eighty years,
We've plucked the song from the last gasp of suffering.
We're like so many blue cranes along the salty plain,
Again and again dwelling beneath the seven Buddhas.

I've known the flying of birds and desires,
I've seen the way of stars and people.
I've taken the guardian spirit's place in the fire of the hut:
I've reached the center, I've found the distillation.

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