Today you shall take a walk
into the deep forest. Proceed
slowly into the thicket of
rustling leaves, riang–riang
of cicada, birdsong. They will not
harm you. Then pass by
the bamboo grove. Notice
how the apple-green glow
fades into teal shadows, how the light
through the trunks slants, sudden
and sharp, the same light
that tumbles like rain
from the upside-down abyss
of the gap between
the clumped crowns of trees.
Remember this light. It shall save you
should you fall, silent-screaming,
into a disused quarry, stagnant water
haunted by ghosts, regretful and vengeful
of its past. Do not linger here. Pull yourself out
clinging to the shining thread.
Sometimes at journey’s end you will discover
the still pool nestled in rocks
that shimmer rose and lavender
in the sun, overlooking the peopled forest
and on the other side, tumbling
into sea and sky. This is your gift.
Step in. Let the water run
like jewels through your hair,
cool your feet. Stay as long
as you may. Say thank you.
Walk away. Do not look back.
You shall come here again.