Ascent of the Prophet to Heaven


                                                     Ascent of the Prophet to Heaven

Jade mountain, white crested in winter,
stars, black and red, stabbed the sky,
punctured the void, like diamonds
on a playing card.
Not for his body or his pride,
he wound up the mountainside,
to prove, maybe, he had a spirit,
heard the tick of clockless time.
His feet bled, grew hard.
Looked up, saw the summit waited,
bare, broken, made vague by mist.
Dice game of gamblers, behind him,
left in a wayside inn,
further down, the mutter of shepherd men.
Persian painting path he pursued
from when he was eleven,
glinted gold, silver, red,
on a page of verse,
ascent of the prophet to heaven.
Light, he rode from the summit,
as if on a horse,
then, winged, he flew, like a bird.
Cheerful ones met him,
asked if it was worth the effort.
He smiled, nodded,
said he wanted to turn,
tell those left behind:
it’s all true.
They shook their heads, told him,
there’s nothing you can do.
When we came up here, they said,
we felt the same as you.
He understood, knew,
for a moment, everything,
then, higher up, he followed them.



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