“THERE’S NO THROUGH TRAIL” —HAN-SHAN, TRANSLATED BY GARY SNYDER
/ Ripple Rock, 1958

Ripple Rock, 1958

by Kristina Percy

Sky sours into sunset & the tugs run 
against the tide, that dark line of struggle.

Now slowed only by cargo, the current,
a cruise ship sailing its longest night home.

Before, in the narrows, nearly a bridge: 
two peaks beneath the surface, eddying

the sea. You would want to call it malice, 
but it’s just luck that you’d rather avoid.

For years they let boats catch in the shallows; 
how easy men drown in sight of the shore.

It is said when they cratered Ripple Rock 
they stopped counting all the fish in the trees.

There’s a feast to be had from any life 
& bless the gulls aren’t picky.

Kristina Percy

About Kristina Percy

Kristina Percy (she/ her) lives on Vancouver Island, Canada in the traditional territories of the Ligwiłda’xw people. Neither of her degrees have anything to do with creative writing. Her work has been published extensively in her Gmail drafts folder, & you can also find it on Instagram @__kpwrites

Cold Mountain Review is published once a year in the Department of English at Appalachian State University. Support from Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences enables CMR’s learning and publications program. The views and opinions expressed in CMR do not necessarily reflect those of university trustees, administration, faculty, students, or staff.