The cold rippling waters
plunge into a dark abyss
of depth untold;
a thunderous stage
for her rich Asian beauty.

Upon the stones she rests
as did the long generations
of her mothers,
throughout the mountain ages
of the vanished past.

Her dark almond eyes
and downy cheek are framed
by the wind-whipped veil
of raven hair;
she is the mountain’s child.

I came to her
in a fiery fall
of quick red flames
and  unbridled terror
from the blue-domed sky of night.

My body she stole from death
and gave to me new life,
here upon this
rim of earth-bound sky.

Never a field of new clover
or a sweetly babbling brook
or a soft and warm summer’s night
has she seen or felt;
only the rock-enshrouded mountains height.

Long weeks upon the soft furs
of that lofty hut
she nursed my broken flesh;
until my wandering spirit she wrenched
back into it’s castle of clay.

Yet, the final cost
she must pay
for my earthly flesh
may be the breaking of her world;
for she cured me with her love.

In her fine dark eyes I see
the melding of her soul
with the timeless flow
of the river of mountain life;
time is the raging current,
her life a single petal upon the water.

Her love lies upon
my finger tip;
her life…in my palm;
for I doubt not she would tread alone
that black and lonely trail
down into that dark abyss.

Of this world I could not conceive
before the fall,
from the crucible of flying hell,
and I was reborn upon this
lofty spire of stone.

Now, I have lived
in a phantom world
of dreams unleashed
with a dark-eyed wraith
from the lower reaches of heaven,
for half a year.

Freedom is mine
to leave or love;
she holds no chains
nor weaves a gypsy spell to bind me
to her high-vaulted home.

Should I remain
in this world
of thin sun-drenched air,
purest snow amidst relentless stone;
her sterling soul would rest
within my embrace.

There is the call
of that other world
from another time
which beckons me back;
a tune of old familiar things,
a well-remembered song of comfort.

Her’s is the siren’s lure
in the wild mountain wind,
out of the east;
and, the evening star rising
from the cloud mists,
the ancients walk the earth again.

As the stars dust across
an infinity of deathless blue,
I know that to love her
and hold her in my arms,
would bind me to her timeless world;
one with stone and sky.

Long ago I died
to all which went before,
no more sorrow should fall
if I rise not again;
the choice is mine.

Yesterday and eagle passed
so near I could have touched
his beating wings;
and he cried his piercing summons
to tarry with him in this harsh place
of beauty and mystery.

The lure is strong,
the past draws me
back into its embrace;
I must leave,
blind to her love,
deaf to her soft plea.

Leagues away
and long miles below,
I struggle through
brown torpid waters
and, sweat-blinded,
fight the encompassing jungle.

Each turning of the way,
she calls;
in every cloud and dream,
I see her face.
She reaches across the space
and I feel her warm heart pulsing.

At the last,
broken and on my knees,
I can go no further;
I turn and race
back to her lonely call.

Torn, my heart asunder,
I stand over the dark abyss;
her stone seat is vacant,
I have returned too late.

But, hope throbs in my mind;
her presence vibrates
through my spirit;
she lives yet below,
I must seek her in the depths.

Into that dark hole I enter
down the faint trail
often taken by others,
those who had no wish
to return to this high world.

Dark snow waters raise
a perpetual mist;
moss-covered boulders
block my questing heart;
and eternity lulls my thoughts.

I fight the soft embrace
of the shrouded one
seen at every turn;
his song is peace,
his dark face is death.

Down and down I stumble,
into the rock-choked depths.
Ever stronger becomes her presence,
her siren song of love;
at last I glimpse her far ahead.

Long before I reach her,
her woman’s breast
tells her of my nearness;
she turns and I see
tears of joy flood her face.

I wonder at her smallness
within my huge embrace,
as I smother her to my chest,
and we turn to climb
the trail from which
no others have returned.

And through the years
I watch the time
grace her sloe-eyed beauty,
and wonder that I ever left
the mountain’s child.


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