for Dinah Hawken
It was the Year of the Mountain, and when Li Po realised there was no avoiding it he began to make preparations. He packed water, rice cakes and sugar cane. He visited his mother. Then, after waiting for nightfall, he set forth. At first nothing, then gradually the mountain began to rise up in astonishment until Li Po could feel its wonder beneath his feet and hands. Twice he stopped to rest and gaze at the stars. When the first shades of dawn began to ease open the sky, Li Po unfolded a black sash from about his person and bound it over his eyes. He hummed softly to himself as his hands sought out each new foothold. By now it was the Year of the Bicycle, and the following day it would be the Year of Unpopular Poetry. Li Po was already in training.
This poem is part of the Tuesday Poem Scheme