Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout
Down valley a smoke haze
Three days heat, after five days rain
Pitch glows in the fir-cones
Across rocks and meadows
Swarms of new flies.
I cannot remember things I once read
A few friends, but they are in the cities.
Drinking cold snow-water from a tin cup
Looking down for miles
Through high still air.
Rolling snow turned peach-color
left alone in the fading night
makes a soft cry in the heavens
and once more
drinks up the scattered light
–From the collection of poems The Back Country by Gary Snyder, published 1968.
Gary Snyder (1930-) is an American award-winning poet, environmental activist, Zen Buddhist and educator (also considered one of the Beat movement poets.)
From COLD MOUNTAIN POEMS – The poems of Chinese
poet, Han Shan (c. 680-760) in a translation by Gary Snyder
There’s a Naked Bug at Cold Mountain
There’s a naked bug at Cold Mountain
With a white body and a black head.
His hands hold two book-scrolls,
One the Way and one its Power.
His shack’s got no pots or oven,
He goes for a walk with his shirt and pants askew.
But he always carries the sword of wisdom:
He means to cut down senseless craving.
“How Poetry Comes to Me It comes blundering over the Boulders at night, it stays Frightened outside the Range of my campfire I go to meet it at the Edge of the light”