Ragged mountain rocks efface the path .
Twilight comes to the temple and bats hover .
Outside the hall I sit on steps and gaze at torrential new rain .
Banana leaves are wide, the cape jasmine is fat .
A monk tells me the ancient Buddhist frescos are good
and holds a torch to show me, but I can barely see .
I lie quiet in night so deep even insects are silent.
From behind a rise the clear moon enters my door .
In the dawn I am alone and lose myself,
wandering up and down in mountain mist.
Then colors dazzle me : mountain red, green stream ,
and a pine so big, ten people linking hands can’t encircle it.
Bare feet on slick rock as I wade upstream.
Water sounds shhhh, shhhh. Wind inflates my shirt.
A life like this is the best.
Why put your teeth on the bit and let people rein you in?
O friends, my party of gentlemen ,
how can we grow old without returning here ?
Translated by Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping