Chinese Mountain Man VI: The Gorge
The travelers had reached a gorge
Whose darkness they would have to breach.
The mountaintops lay far ahead—
“Such darkness has a lot to teach,”
The master said while looking down
The river gorge’s darkened depths—
The boy sighed deep, and looked
About, and spoke in shortened breaths.
“Master, it seems that there's no way
To cross this dark abyss—there is
No way ahead, there is no way,
To cross, or climb—we must turn back.”
But as he looked on in despair,
He saw a bridge among the mists,
Further down, couched among the crags,
Suspended over the abyss.
The ancient teacher turned and smiled,
“The challenge is the same for all
Who hope to make the climb,” he said,
“The climber cannot fear the fall.”
And as they stood there looking on
Into darkling skies of night,
A soft breeze suddenly appeared—
The wraith-like mist then took its flight.
The little bridge serenely swayed
Beneath the moon. “It’s time to forge
Ahead,” the master whispered to
The boy, "Ready to cross the gorge?”
David is a poet, translator and linguist based in Montreal.