Category Archives: Zen Poetry

Lost in Zen

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Lost in Zen

Born like a dream

in this dream of a world,

How easy in mind I am,

I who will fade away

like the morning dew. — Zen poem

*******

Born like a dream

Says the poet, 

This dream of a world.

Ah, but 

Even Issa,

troubador of liberation,

wept when 

his child died,

his little girl.

This world may be a dewdrop, 

he said,

This world–

 and yet….and yet…
Keenest of Zen poems and
the most awakened.

Don’t believe that Zen monks

in their mountain abodes

Did not weep,  were not lonely.

Even Satori may not bring peace

from the grasp for 

child- warmth,

From heart loss of the smile

That lit the mornings?

We are not awakened who do not love.
Even those who see Being

Illusory, transient, 

reach for the  sudden reflection on the water

of the  vanished image,

May listen, heart beating for the absent one,

To the calling of night birds

Under stars and pines

in the hut on the hillside.
…Deep Autumn,

How does my neighbor live,

I wonder?

How happy to drink

wine with a visitor,

If only in memory.

Alone with the rocks

And tathata, oneness,

We still hope to see  a

human form on the hillside.

…As I gathered firewood

You came to visit!

Your sandals stirred the dust on the floor,

But I was not here.

…Don’t worry, Spiders,

I keep house casually–

you are my companions

among the jagged granite,

the ever more windblown hemlocks.
Even a Zen master

May long to see Buddha

On the road… to kill him?

Look first in his eyes to

see your true nature,

Just 

As the gray mouse

Appears  and whisks away

Behind these thin pine walls.

The human eye,

Better to look into than to

Gaze upon God!

Said  Melville,

The master of destruction,

Shiva Nataraja who

Dances away the world!

Blake,  thought, 

eternal seer,

whispers:

Sorrow is not fit for immortals

And is useless to anyone.

Loss:

No loss.
The forest stirs in  soft wind,

Rain patters the hut roof

And I sleep, again in peace

With transitory being.

I have washed my bowl.

After the Zen poets, especially Issa.

–Ladybelle Fiske
(Isabella Fiske McFarlin)

March 1 2017

Pisces…

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