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Mountain Dojo

If I get another life, I want to be

a boulder on the seashore

                                    Kevin McVeigh

I am becoming mountain

study at the foot of ancient Mt. Sensei

mother earth’s courtesan, her favored,

he teaches in bird wings fluttering through sky

wisdom flows as rain gullies from his bald head


I am a uké to sacred mountain,

creation's paramour

he speaks the air, needs no voice


I am becoming mountain

as slowly as the rocks O Sensei summoned as he rose,

so long ago even ocean has forgotten when the land began to break apart,

some use ‘drift’ to measure his movements, but there is no counting in his dojo,

his odyssey to this place was out of time, so slow it baffled even the weather.


I am becoming mountain

slowly as O Sensei rose,

bending in a deep bow of willingness


I am becoming mountain

my bumbling apprentice ways endear me to my sensei, frustrate me

I struggle to tune my lazy ears to kokyu, rhythm of life, carrying

the melody of stillness. I listen to Mount Sensei

sing in the profound resonance of silence.


My heartbeat slows, misogi’s purification has begun

making for zanshin, deeper awareness,

where I might be without thought,

a mountain

Sharon Lopez Mooney, “Mountain Dojo”, from ’Field Guide Poetry Magazine, e. Amanda Marrero, March Issue, Israel, USA, Ireland, 2022

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