Mt Koya was cold. So cold it froze
the offerings to the Gods.
The Gods were so cold they knew nothing of
the suffering of the monks.
In the shadow the monks lived, in the
coldest corner of the coldest mountain of Japan.
This knowledge came to Akira the morning
he found the tofu offering frozen dried to the alter.
Akira watched the cranes fly through the sky
of ice, as white as the peak of the mountain.
At night he dreamed and in his dreams he became
one of the birds of heaven.
And he flew someplace warm.
The dream would end the moment the cold crept into
the plain room where he slept. It curled around
his toes, and his fingers. It nipped his slender
nose and kissed his eyelashes.
And he knew that Koya-san had caught him back again.
in the heart of the mountain