For your pleasure, some Chinese Zen poetry.
Returning Clouds Ching An
Misty trees hide in crinkled hills' blue green.
The man of the Way's stayed long
at this cottage in the bamboo grove
White clouds too know the flavor
of this mountain life:
they haven't waited for the Vesper Bell
The fragrance comes in
at the window. A light breeze,
sun not yet setting.
When I meet a monk
I do bow politely.
When I see a Buddha
If I bow to a Buddha
the Buddha won't know,
But I do honor a monk.
he's apparently here now.
The sky where dragons were
Courtyard-covering white dew
Moistens hidden orchids
Mountain Living: Han Shan Te-ching
down beneath the pines
a few thatched huts
before my eyes
everywhere blue mountains
and where the sun and moon
restlessly rise and fall
this old white cloud
idly comes and goes
Mountain Dwelling: Ch'ing Kung
things of the past are already long gone
and things to be, distant beyond imagining
The Tao is just this moment, these words:
plum bloosoms fallen; gardenia just opening
the withered tree stands tall, craggy
like an old monk
spring comes; autumn goes, soundless, invisible;
It's solitary branches reach up, unbent by the world
Evening Bells Near a Temple
Under the thin smoke of winter
the old temple is quiet
all the visitors gone.
On the west wind, there
four chimes of the evening bell
How can the old monk
concentrate on zazen?
Temple of the Bamboo Brove
Late, passed the Temple of the Bamboo Brove.
In slanting sun, the corners of the walls
sunk deep in the shade
Windy lamp, the red unsteady
Misty willows, green, held deep and still.
Monks few, stone chimes are often silent:
trees many, sunlight, and shade too.
Ears catch a hint of Buddist chanting,
My horse bells have a pure and clear tone.
I Make My Home in the Mountains
You ask why I live
alone in the mountain forest
and I smile and am silent
until even my soul grows quiet
It lives in the other world
one that no one owns.
The peach trees blossom
The water continues to flow.
I come humbly to the bamboo grove
Each day hoping to embrace the way
Please check out
A Drifting Boat - Chinese Zen Poetry
White Pine Press. Edited by J.P. Seaton & Dennis Maloney