FIRST THOUGHT BEST THOUGHT, 108 POEMS
THE NAMELESS CHILD
There is a mountain of gold. When the sun's rays strike it, it is irritating to look at. It is surrounded by red, green, yellow orange, pink and liver-colored clouds, wafted gently by the wind. Around the mountain fly thousands of copper-winged birds with silver heads and iron beaks. A ruby sun rises in the East and a crystal moon sets in the West. The whole earth is covered with pearl-dust snow. Upon it a luminous child without a name instantaneously comes into being.
The golden mountain is dignified, the sunlight is blazing red.
Dreamlike clouds of many colors float across the sky.
In the place where iron birds croak,
The instantaneously born child can find no name.
Because he has no father, the child has no family line. Because he has no mother, he has never tasted milk. Because he has neither brother nor sister, he has no one to play with. Having no house to live in, he cannot find a crib. Since he has no nanny, he has never cried. There is no civilization, so he cannot find toys. Since there is no point of reference, he doesn't know a self. He has never heard spoken language, so he has never experienced fear.
The child walks in every direction, but does not come across anything. He sits down slowly on the ground. Nothing happens. The colorful world seems sometimes to exist and sometimes not. He gathers a handful of pearl dust and lets it trickle through his fingers. He gathers another handful and slowly takes it into his mouth. Hearing the pearl dust crunch between his teeth, he gazes at the ruby sun setting and the crystal moon rising. Suddenly, a whole galaxy of stars wondrously appears and he lies on his back to admire their patterns. The nameless child falls into a deep sleep, but has no dreams.
The child's world has no beginning or end.
To him, colors are neither beautiful nor ugly.
The child's nature has no preconceived notion of birth and death.
The golden mountain is solid and unchanging,
The ruby sun is all-pervading,
The crystal moon watches over millions of stars
The child exists without preconceptions.
3 November 1972