Printer Friendly

The way to Cold Mountain.

Bach wrote his solo cello suites as etudes, not for performance.
Imagine, the arpeggios of the first prelude, forever private,
As if God had chosen to craft the stars behind a curtain of darkness.

The tree from which the cello was built continues leafing in chords.
The chords the cello hummed in its chest linger in the cave of the ear.
We may be breathing the air our own breaths touched, years ago.

Breath hurries from us like a rabbit springing through tall grass
In the sun-bleached fields of Being. But why worry about that?
Better to lie down in the grass, or better yet, dash through it

Maybe the orchards we meet in childhood become the Eden we lost
Before we were born. But if that's so, why am I not weeping
Under these blowsy peaches while I share their windfall with wasps?

Snowmelt swelled the stream, but the churning falls were warm.
Forgiveness is that way: you go in, expecting chill, but come out
As a newborn. I could say more, but it's cold. I'm going back in.

Han-Shan says the way to Cold Mountain runs through Cold Mountain.
I keep looking to see if there's a footpath through these trees.
Maybe if I wander down into that lonely valley there, I'll find it.


Temple Cone teaches English at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. His newest book is The Broken Meadow.

COPYRIGHT 2010 Sojourners
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Poetry
Author:Cone, Temple
Publication:Sojourners Magazine
Article Type:Poem
Date:Dec 1, 2010
Previous Article:Reel struggles for justice: film director Julia Bacha talks about the making of Budrus.
Next Article:Ian Danley.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |