Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Getting out of the way

Reading poems is for a bloke like me like meeting people. These written signs, birdfeet-like, made of black ink sometimes come to life. I visit them like good old friends, dream and sit and drink with them, often in the secret of my heart, sometimes openly, outrageously cause I love it. The following old Chinese stuff is very dear to me, it is also quite mysterious, ambiguous. I don't know what it means even if, in a fraction of a dream, I sense that my-your-everybody's life has that taste. A taste of a tasteless nature. A bite of nothing. This poem rings like a lightness and clarity of a temple bell in the hazy distance as my moody and clumsy feet are caught in marshes and bogs (blogs?). It is written by Li Po. Here it is:

Zazen on Ching-t'ing Mountain

The birds have vanished from the sky
Now the last cloud drains away

We sit together
The mountain and me
until only the mountain remains

Thursday, March 02, 2006

how to set a crane free

Perched on Kodo's shoulder
A paper crane
escaped from a painted scroll

The old monk
invites the bird
to fly

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Samsara 2

Because I am recovering from a surgery, I have very little to do and plenty of time to leave my electronic scribbles behind. So...here is another poem of Ryokan. I thought I'd give you the original Chinese, if you can make anything out of it...

Rags and patches
Patches and rags, that's my life
I beg my food by the road side
My house is completely overun with wild grass
All night long I recite poems to the moon
Drunk with Spring blossoms
I wander off and forget to come home
Since I left the temple this is how I ended up
A broken-down mule

Samsara blues

A good old song of Kansas has great lyrics. Just spot on. American Dharma. A bit of fiddle over a few chords, a broken voice. I used to love that song, used to be captured by its nostalgic and romantic beauty, I still love it now but for different reasons, it just speaks to me:

When I close my eyes
Only for a moment and the moment has gone
all my dreams
pass before my eyes as curiosity

Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
Dust in the wind
everything is just dust in the wind

Same old song
just a troubled water in an endless sea
all we do crumbles to the ground
as we refuse to see

Dust in the wind (...)

It echoes another wonderful poem of Ryokan:

We meet, we part
Free as white clouds that come and go
All that remains
are a few traces of brush and ink
The world of human bonds
Is no place to find what we seek
And yet this is nothing but the very body of IT. The sad view is nothing but a view. As long as I seek, it is going to be Samsara blues. Sickness is "seekness". Can't you see?