what remains...

from Li Po

The birds have vanished into the sky,
and now the last cloud drains away.

We sit together, the mountain and me,
until only the mountain remains.

        (Trans. Sam Hamill)


Before any awakening, realization, or understanding is possible ... all forms of I must disappear.


jenni said...

That's one of my fav poems--EVER. I love love love it.

lisa schamess said...

Felt downhearted just
now. You made me look up, there
where songs may open.
I returned to self enough
to say, "tanka, sam, tanka."

Sam of the ten thousand things said...

Li Po is so necessary. Thanks for the read Jenni and Lisa.

rae said...


Great, great choice. The impact is so strong from a such a seemingly simple poem.

Sam of the ten thousand things said...

I agree Rachel - very deceptive in its power.

Collin said...

Thanks for posting this Sam. It's a good reminder that short poesm can be just as powerful as long ones. Ah...the economy of words.

Sam of the ten thousand things said...

I keep trying to find this way in my own work. Thanks for reading, Collin.

Jill said...

great poem. real. thank you.