I sit and gaze on this highest peak of all;
Wherever I look there is distance without end.
I am all alone and no one knows I am here,
A lonely moon is mirrored in the cold pool.
Down in the pool there is not really a moon;
The only moon is in the sky above.
I sing to you this one piece of song;
But in the song there is not any Zen.
Translated by Arthur Waley
Shen's drawing is on the cover of David Hinton's Mountain Home: The Wilderness Poetry of Ancient China, one of my favorite poetry books. ISBN 0-8112-1624-1
And I? I am a madman most,
running mazes in my mind.
And I wonder what I'll find,
here in this world
I call my home.
so long ago
Basho (d. 1694) spoke of his wondering even towards the end, "On a journey, ill, and across fields all withered, dreams go wandering still."
Clouds, silent, punctuate the the scroll of sky,
Their message is clear --
With ease I lift my burden and
Proceed with a thankful sigh.
And if when playing the poet I stutter here or there, I'd hold my tongue if not fearful of choking on my toothbrush. Part of my burden is wondering how to punctuate that other 'the.'
Whoa is me, say I, haltingly.