A Meditation in the Eighth House in Early Spring

By Ire of Sinshan

Thin bluish clouds move northeastwards
high up and slowly. Help this soul,
southwest wind of the rainy season,
help this soul be healed

Under bark of the fallen pine
worms have carved fine mazes
delicate circuitous houses.
Maze-makers, help this soul die.

Veins stand netted on the bluish boulder
where rain wore the soft rock down.
Blown rain of many winters,
help this soul turn round.

Shadows of dead branches,
sunlight and dying things,
O wilderness, one bird sings
one note far off in the sunny wind.

Rock was softer than the rain,
tree weaker than the worm. No help for it.
So soul be weak, fail, drift, and blow
with wind through net and maze, and sing
one note once only in the wilderness.

Always Coming Home 
University of California Press 
February 2001 
ISBN: 0-520-22735-2