Chinese Mountain Man VIII: The Night Sky
Trekking among the steep defiles,
Trailed by the sage, a young boy tried
To use the dim-lit stars in hopes
Of finding some path or some guide
To help him climb the rocky slopes.
They made their way among the fog
Which stalked them now for many nights,
And left them wandering like ghosts
Amid the unfamiliar heights—
Without a guide, or friendly hosts.
The sage was slow and patient in his steps,
And seldom raised his gaze to watch
The stars or trace the yellow moon.
Hidden beneath his hood, lonesome,
The boy asked, “Will we be there soon?”
Who knows how long those travelers
Had wandered through that craggy world;
How many caves and grots and chasms
Crossed as the haunting shadows whirled—
How many unearthly phantasms?
“Let’s keep the pace” the master said
While looking down and walking straight
Ahead, without making a sound.
The ancient master kept his pace,
The eager pupil soon slowed down.
He stopped and looked toward the sky,
Hoping to find some lucky star.
Walking amid the starry chorus,
The cowled sage paused, removed his hood,
He gazed, “Sometimes the stars find us.”
David Gosselin is a poet, translator, and linguist based in Montreal. He is the founder of The Chained Muse poetry website and the founder of the New Lyre Podcast. His first collection of poems is entitled Modern Dreams.