Sharon Lopez Mooney

Sharon Lopez Mooney, poet, is a retired Interfaith Minister who worked in the death and dying field, now lives in Mexico on the east edge of the Sea of Cortez, and visits her large family in northern California. Mooney received a 1978 California Arts Council Grant for a rural poetry series. She co-published a regional arts journal; co-owned an alternative literature service; and produced poetry readings and performances.

Mountain Dojo

I am becoming mountain

study at the foot of ancient Mount 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,

                  thrown to the foot of O Sensei, great teacher,

                  creation’s paramour

                  he speaks the air

                   he 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

                    as slowly as O Sensei rose,

                    I am learning to live out of time,

                    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.

                      I am becoming mountain

                      no longer tied to bone, not knowing through mind

                      my voice has no timbre, my heartbeat slows

                      misogi has begun its purifying to make room

                      for zanshin, awareness, where I might be without thought,

                      a mountain