Category Archives: Poetry

Beginnings Abide in Ends

Dusk… Stars    shining already between shores of cloud. -J.R.R. Tolkien, LOTR

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Solomon’s Envy

   In the midst of the plain Sings the skylark,    Free of all things. -Basho (Blyth)

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Knowing

It cannot be attained by mind;It is not to be sought after through mindlessness.It cannot be created by speech;It cannot be penetrated by silence.The geese do not wish to leave their reflection behind;The water has no mind to retain their … Continue reading

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Humility

If you wish to know the road up the mountain, You must ask the man who goes back and forth on it. -Zenrinkushu (R.H. Blyth)

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Stop and See

If you do not get it from yourself, where will you go for it? -Zenrinkushu (tr. R. H. Blyth)

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Consciousness

To have the sun and the moon in one’s sleeve; To hold the universe in the palm of one’s hand. -Zenrinkushu (tr. R. H. Blyth) To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild … Continue reading

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Flexibility, Strength

Only seeing the sharpness of the awl; Not knowing the squareness of the stone-chisel. -Zenrinkushu (tr. R. H. Blyth)

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Emptying to Fullness

The plum tree, dwindling, contains    less of the spring; But the garden is wider, and holds    more of the moon. -Zenrinkushu (tr. R. H. Blyth)

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Wonder

The wind drops, but the flowers still fall; A bird sings, and the mountain holds                yet more mystery. -Zenrinkushu (tr. R. H. Blyth)

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Viewpoint

Life is like a sword that wounds, but cannot wound itself;Like an eye that sees, but cannot see itself. -Zenrinkushu (tr. R. H. Blyth)

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Devotion

When spring comes, many visitors enjoy    themselves at the temple;When the flowers fall, only the monk who    shuts the gate is left. -anon (tr. R. H. Blyth)

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Letting Go

The skies seen in the dawn of spring,    Seen with the moon of autumn, —Were they real? Were they a dream?    Namuamida butsu! -Sonojo (Deathverse), (tr. R. H. Blyth)

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Soft

    Yield to the willowAll the loathing, all the desire    Of your heart. -Basho (tr. R. Blyth)

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A Flower

    A flower of the camellia-tree fell,    spilling its water. -Basho (tr. R. Blyth) I’m going to be putting up some favorite poems from haiku poets and zen poets over the next week or so. These are such wonderful poems, both beautiful … Continue reading

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Happy Prints, by Robbie

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From this Ruin

Maybe what I didn’t know all along this path was that all my heart’s feeling was nourishment, like rain water filling the roses. I thought it was a fire in a tinder dry wood, a hail of flaming comets at … Continue reading

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Yeats Via Kilmer

“I think it was Yeats who said… You see a tree, and you observe a truth about the tree. And you’re hit with it. The magic of the tree. It’s a spiritual thing. Beyond the physical life form of the … Continue reading

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Water with Friends

With Tu Fu and Li Bai I drinkthis wayside rock-spring luminous watermissing not at allthe wine we sharedat the Temple Mount Tavernjust the night before. The belly-deep laughter it bringsrises even more easilyand cleans away the heavy airthat clings from … Continue reading

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Late at Night

The swirl of wind relenting; the turn of water descending;the slow winding down         of the cat into sleep.

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Caravan

It seems to me from years of gracethat the best poems come out of the night.They softly, swiftly descendon wafting leaves with starlight glistening.They never guess nor ever look back.They mince no words and pour imagesthat tingle in the heart … Continue reading

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