Chinese Mountain Man: The Phoenix

Once upon on a quiet night,
Walking along a misty trail,
A sage and pupil made their way
Through a deep and darkened wood.
Among many a steely pine,
They traveled the serpentine trails.
But after wandering the night,
They finally settled for rest.                     
They set camp in an open space
And made a fire to warm their limbs.
But as they rested by the flames
And reflected upon their day,
In the distance a light appeared:
It glowed with a numinous hue.
It shone unlike the sun or stars;
It shone with a nebulous light.
But the source of the light remained
Unseen among the fog and trees.
The sage and pupil thus resolved,
To follow the alien beams.
But to both sage and boy’s surprise,
They came upon a phoenix nest:
The phoenix sat there purple-plumed
And covered in a coat of fire.
It lay among the glowing rocks
Where it had made what seemed its nest.
“What purpose has this beast inside
“These woods, master”, the boy questioned.
“Does he not live among the sands
“And the scorching Saharan climes?"
“Such birds are born in many worlds
“And they also live many lives,” said the sage.
“For the phoenix dies many times —
“Many times more than you’d believe.”
“How painful then,” the student said,
“To have to die so many times.”
The master turned towards the boy,
“He’s also reborn many times.”
“Its death is not well understood
“But even less, is its rebirth.”
“For one’s death is not what men fear,”
The master said, “they fear rebirth.”
But as the sage and student stood
Discoursing by the creature’s nest,
It suddenly opened its wings
And flew into the starry sky.

David Gosselin

If you have any thoughts on this poem, David Gosselin would be pleased to hear them.