Touching the Sky

Visiting a Cha'n Master Among
Mountains and Lakes

Like Hui-yuan fostering Ling-yun,
you open the gates of Ch'an for me;

here beneth rock and pine, serene,
it's no different than Glacier Peak.

Blossoms pure, no dye of illusion,
mind and water both pure idleness,

I sit once and plumb whole kalpas,
see through heaven and earth empty.

Li Po

Ole Li Po, saintly wino, breathing mountain air and touching the sky.
A bit of Gary Snyder up in Big Sur bathing in a hot tub fired by spruce,
Or Dylan Thomas falling down drunk in snow through pine needles.
Maybe Mick Jagger reciting Browning in Chelsie Park, singing Mary Jane.

And Allan Ginsburg reading Howl for the first time in a basement on Grant St.
As well as Jack Kerouac with his head twisted into a bulb radio, speeding through the universe, criss cross yogi, listening to Sun Ra!

How in the hell can I get back to kalpas, blossoms pure, Mary
Jane, pine needles, Big Sur hot tubs, Spruce, Sun Ra?

Even I can remember sipping Stoli in Central Park, on a mountain top, infinite, tasting cool air, sheltered, rich, broke, touching the sky!

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