Adrift in pale moonlight,
spectral tendrils of morphing moisture
swath around treetops, vanishing at last
into late night’s wintry darkness.
Through the open door
of this patchwork mountain hut,
a last stick of incense surrenders itself
to all directions like a spent lover’s final sigh,
the fragrance of sandalwood insinuating its smoky
sonorities into these soft streams of gauzy breeze
lilting through the temple of trees where I
now sit and blend with misty midnight.
Lingering ghost-like in the subtle nuances
of blurry incandescence, the flickerings of anticipation
and regret that once seemed to imply an independent self,
some autonomous person, are quietly extinguished,
while the mute moon spills her luminous secrets
with each shimmering ray, beaming from
the light at the still heart of a vast
and fathomless dark –
silent, silent . . .