|Cold rain tapping the roof of the house;
Hot tea warming the roof of my mouth;
Nothing else to do until my friend arrives...
|Many clouds float high overhead;
They hide the sun and stars.
But this white cloud drifts amongst us
And shares the light with all.
|The weather torrential
Brings wondrous potential:
A flourish of the wand,
And an entire world springs into existence.
Seconds pass like eons,
And the surface dances with life.
More eons pass,
And in a wink the world is gone -
And another arises in its place.
Washing the dishes,
And playing with bubbles...
|Scent of Spring
Golden beauty awakens -
Skunk cabbage in bloom.
White as the snow and full of face,
The March hare bounds from drift to tree...
And gazes silently upon me.
| I haven't a flute to play,
And the tattered strings of my robe
won't carry a tune,
But the warm whistle of the kettle
And the patter of the falling rain
Are music enough for me...
|Starting up the mountain path,
A hat on my head
And staff in hand,
I wipe the dust of civilization off my feet
And step back into the earth.
|I sat with the mountain
And ran with the stream -
And I called it "Zen".
They told me that I couldn't do this,
That I had to find a teacher
Who could give me the true teaching.
So I found a teacher,
And he took my money and said:
"Sit like a mountain,
And flow like a stream."
|As I walk up the mountain,
The river runs down it -
What does the river know
That I don't?
|I bow to the mountain . . .
And the mountain bows back!
A gray-robed monk
Steps out from the rocks.
|Has a giant lost his horses?
White mare's tails brush across the treetops
As they race through an azure sky.
|The morning fog lifts;
An invisible forest
Becomes green again.
|Pouring the tea,
I gaze into the cup
And see myself.
Drinking the tea,
I pour another cup,
and find myself again.
|Looking out my window this morning,
I see nothing!
The river and village have vanished;
There’s only gray where they use to be.
With no more need to keep my appointments,
I sit back and start making some tea.
Maybe I’ll vanish, to...
|Dawn can wait today -
The steady sound
Of the early morning rain
Brings a peaceful silence
While the village sleeps on...
And I’m not done listening.
|Standing in motion.
Sitting in silence.
Drinking in darkness...
My morning routine.
|Some days - The fog lifts quickly,
And the Way becomes clear.
Other days - Only the path underfoot is visible,
And the only way to see the next step... Is to take it.
|Eleven steps up the mountain way -
Or was it eleven thousand?
Up here in the temple,
The air is colder and quieter
Than in the world below...
But my robe and beads
Don’t feel any different,
And the tea still tastes like tea.
|Pale streaks of frost
In the tree’s mossy beard
Mirror traces of white
In my own...
Am I getting older,
Or just colder?
|Here and now, there’s nowhere else to go,
Yet each of us must find our own way.
One will dwell quietly for nine years,
While another will lose an arm.
Drink the tea, or break the cup -
Either way, the cup will empty.
|Weaving their bare branches into a net,
A forest of alders reaches for the heavens
In a futile attempt to catch the passing moon.
The pond, meanwhile, reaches for nothing,
But simply remains still and quiet -
And draws the moon down to earth.