Poor Words

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  • JohnsonCM
    Member
    • Jan 2010
    • 549

    Poor Words

    Poor words, perhaps, but they struck me, so (for good or for ill) I'd like to share them.

    Lost at night, I sit and wait.
    The sun at dawn,
    Burns away the late spring fog.
    The path revealed beneath my very feet.
    In my wanderings, did I ever even leave it?

    Time to head home,
    Last nights plates will need cleaning,
    For this morning’s breakfast.
    Gassho,
    "Heitetsu"
    Christopher
    Sat today
  • Ankai
    Treeleaf Unsui
    • Nov 2007
    • 912

    #2
    Re: Poor Words

    This poem actually reminded me of the book that got me interested in Buddhism years ago... Jack Kerouac's "The Dharma Bums." At the time it was written, Buddhism was just gaining some American awareness, and some of his ideas (or, those of the character that was supposed to be him,) and those of "Japhy" (Real life Gary Snyder,) were a bit jumbled in various forms of Buddhism and Christianity and Eastern and Western philosophy, and, as much of a melange as we in the West may be now, it was much looser and mixed then.
    The story, however, is one of real import, loosely based on the idea of "fetch water, chop wood." (Like my interpretation of your post.) It's the spiritual roller coaster that os real life... spiritual and/or religious extacies followed by plummeting crashes of carnality or simple humanity. He sees Japhy as a Buddha, he sees him as Mara. He sees the world as Samsara and Nirvana. He loves his practice, he hates it. It drives a wedge between him and his family and none of them sees that it's what beings them closer. He's a monk, he's a womanizer. He's an ascetic, he's a drunk. He's hard working, he's a hobo.
    Kerouac (and Snyder, and some of the other Buddhist-minded Beats,) had nothing to compare their spirituality to, no real, established Sangha to support them, no senseis to guide them. Their Buddhism- especially Kerouacs- was greatly informed by his Catholicism. But he qould quote the Diamond Sutra as readily as the Lord's Prayer.
    His musings in his outdoor meditations and travels, in the book, are very similar to your poem here.
    Fetch water, chop wood.
    Gassho!! Gassho!! Gassho!!
    Gassho!
    護道 安海


    -Godo Ankai

    I'm still just starting to learn. I'm not a teacher. Please don't take anything I say too seriously. I already take myself too seriously!

    Comment

    • ghop
      Member
      • Jan 2010
      • 438

      #3
      Re: Poor Words

      Originally posted by JohnsonCM
      Poor words, perhaps, but they struck me, so (for good or for ill) I'd like to share them.

      Lost at night, I sit and wait.
      The sun at dawn,
      Burns away the late spring fog.
      The path revealed beneath my very feet.
      In my wanderings, did I ever even leave it?

      Time to head home,
      Last nights plates will need cleaning,
      For this morning’s breakfast.
      Thanks for sharing this Heitetsu! Simply wonderful.

      gassho
      Greg

      Comment

      • Risho
        Member
        • May 2010
        • 3179

        #4
        Re: Poor Words

        Thank you!
        Email: risho.treeleaf@gmail.com

        Comment

        • Myozan Kodo
          Friend of Treeleaf
          • May 2010
          • 1901

          #5
          Re: Poor Words

          Great. Thanks and Gassho,
          Soen

          Comment

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