Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom
Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Sho Ka (?)

Black! crow standing
in his eye all eternity
Long shadows draw

Wild winds abate
In morning's first light
A broken teahouse

Bursting open
The rose dawn fills
My empty universe

No barrier now
Lofty mountain to one
Riding the wind.

-   Sho Ka.

Ikkyu Sojun

A Meal Of Fresh Octopus

Lots of arms, just like Kannon the Goddess;
Sacrificed for me, garnished with citron, I revere it so!
The taste of the sea, just divine!
Sorry, Buddha, this is another precept I just cannot keep.
Ikkyu Sojun :

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

T'ao Ch'ien (365-427)

Ninth Day, Ninth Month

Slowly autumn comes to an end.
Painfully cold a dawn wind thicks the dew.
Grass round here will not be green again,
Trees and leaves are already suffering.
The clear air is drained and purified
And the high white sky’s a mystery.
Nothing’s left of the cicada’s sound.
Flying geese break the heavens’ silence.
The Myriad Creatures rise and return.
How can life and death not be hard?
From the beginning all things have to die.
Thinking of it can bruise the heart.
What can I do to lighten my thoughts?
Solace myself drinking the last of this wine.
Who understands the next thousand years?
Let’s just make this morning last forever.

Tu Fu (712-770)

Moon at Night in Ch’ang-an

North of here in the moonlight
She too looks up in loneliness.
I am sad for our little children,
Too young to think of far off Ch’ang-an.

Clouds of hair wet with jewelled mist.
Cold light on arms of jade.
When will we two stir the silk curtains
While one moon shows the stain of tears?

Note: Tu is in the occupied capital. The past glory is already distant in time. His wife and children are in Fu-chou in the north-east. Those who are parted are linked to each other through watching the same moon.

Du Fu (712-770)

Spring in Ch’ang-an

Fallen States still have hills and streams.
Cities, in Spring, have leaves and grass.
Though tears well at half-open flowers.
Though parted birds rise with secret fears.
War beacons shine through triple moons.
Home news is worth more than gold.
Grey hairs, tugged at every disaster,
Thin on this head that’s too small for its cap.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Su Tung-Po (1037-1101) (Su Shi)

Shui Tiao Ko Tou

Will a moon so bright ever arise again?
Drink a cupful of wine and ask of the sky.
I don't know where the palace gate of heaven is,
Or even the year in which tonight slips by.
I want to return riding the whirl-wind! But I
Feel afraid that this heaven of jasper and jade
Lets in the cold, its palaces rear so high.
I shall get up and dance with my own shadow.
From life endured among men how far a cry!

Round the red pavilion
Slanting through the lattices
Onto every wakeful eye,
Moon, why should you bear a grudge, O why
Insist in time of separation so th fill the sky?
Men know joy and sorow, parting and reunion;
The moon lacks lustre, brightly shines; is al, is less.
Perfection was never easily come by.
Though miles apart, could men but live for ever
Dreaming they shared this moonlight endlessly!
Su Tung-po :

Hsu Yun (1840-1959)

Passing the Winter at Yunhua but not meeting up with my friend
I came to this place where the trees are confusingly thick.
Suddenly in the arched vault of the forest I found a path.

I passed that stone... the one below the green pavilion.
There was frost on the leaves and the branch tips were bare and red.
Who was it who carved those emotional words in the rock?

I waited. Ah... All feelings,
Are they not just emptiness of "me"?

The Chan gates both rest quietly now
With the plum trees and the grasses
Awaiting the winds of Spring.


1 Examining into the imperial T'ang's securing heaven and earth and penetrating the vapor-mother, hsi! enlightening the five leaves' blossoming luxurience, 2 It was K'ai-y√ľan that initiated the vast lodging with its revolvings around the pole star, hsi! encompassing the Six Thearch's glorious splendour. 3 Born in golden virtue's pure essence, hsi! cleansed in the jade dew's flourescent nourishment. 4 Refined elegance flourishes among the seven brilliances, hsi! decrees and enactments are according to the double principles, he embraces all the mysteries and acts as a master. 5 His brightness leaves nothing shadowed or unenlightened, his sovereign morality leaves none distanced or unendowed.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Hsing Hsing Ming (Seng- Ts'an 529-606)

Emptiness here, Emptiness there,
but the infinite universe stands
always before your eyes.
Infinitely large and infinitely small:
no difference, for definitions have vanished.
and no boundaries are seen.
So too with Being and non-Being.
Don't waste time in doubts and arguments
that have nothing to do with this.
One thing, all things:
move among and intermingle,
without distinction.
To live in this realization
is to be without anxiety about non-perfection.
To live in this faith is the road to non-duality,
because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind.
The Way is beyond language,
for in it there is
     no yesterday
          no tomorrow
               no today.