Pawtracks on Seven-Star Mountain

      --For Tim McNulty (Ma Ming-shih)

Bamboo walk/snake stick
red daypack
poems of Ma Ming-shih,
to read aloud
in clouds
atop the mountain.

But the trail
runs out in mang ts'ao grass,
the mist turns rain,
and I take shelter
under ancient pine.

Here I open pack
and all your songs
(of loves, of rivers
and the snowy peaks)
darken at the top,
curl from the rain.

But a little deeper down, past the water jug
and socks--the cheese and crackers,
ah, still dry.

                   Confucius' Birthday

Mike O'Connor | On Failing to Meet
Contents | Mudlark No. 7