Hello, Baihua Mountain

TRANSLATED BY BONNIE S. MCDOUGALL
The sound of a guitar drifts through the air.
Cupped in my hand, a snowflake quivers lightly.
Thick patches of fog draw back to reveal
A mountain range, rolling like a melody.

I have gathered the inheritance of the four seasons.
There is no sign of man in the valley.
Picked wild flowers continue to grow,
Their flowering is their time of death.

Along the path in the primordial wood
Green sunlight flows through the slits.
A russet hawk interprets into bird cries
The mountain's tale of terror.

Abruptly I cry out,
'Hello, Bai—hua—Mountain.'
'Hello, my—child,' comes the echo
From a distant waterfall.

It was a wind within a wind, drawing
A restless response from the land,
I whispered, and the snowflake
Drifted from my hand down the abyss.

by Bei Dao

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