Head jolted off
by an arc of lightning
I wake with my face in sweating palms.
The sky is light and the mountains
lie crumpled like heaps of laundry.
Jeans come out of storage, looser now,
robes and samue are folded. No note –
I already told
you, You can’t trust me
that day we visited your master’s tomb.
Your scarf blew off, maybe you let it go,
and was caught, fluttering, on a grave.
When I’d retrieved it, like a good disciple,
you’d said, Such honesty is why I do.
But faith is no
coin past the temple gate,
which I leave, walking into the fields
to feel the rain drip from face to furrow
and begin the climb toward Mount Gorō:
wishing to be nothing but a brush stroke
in a Daoist’s cloud painting.
Andy Barritt lives in the UK.
He has an MA in Buddhist Studies and a BA in English and American Literature.
His influences include Kenji Miyazawa and Ursula Le Guin. Other than reading
and writing he enjoys ornithology and wuxia movies.