Sunday, February 28, 2021

hidden behind the leaves

twentyeight

morning chill, veranda glazed with rime, fog swirls through woods, listening, chants softly from the lecture hall, wind hard through the cedars, gusts and sudden cracks, limbs falling, thuds and thumps, widow makers, eyes unfocused, mind empty, focus a misnomer, diffusion more like, spread the mind's eye to emptiness, wind rattling an errant shutter, violence and the distant hum and beauty of husky basso voices, all one

photo by g simoni

NOTES
Tao Te Ching 28
'When considering any thing, do not lose its opposite. When thinking of the finite, do not forget infinity ...' D Lau

D.C. Lau translation link: http://enlight.lib.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-AN/an142304.pdf

The Tao Te Ching has seen over 250 translations. The above link takes the reader to one of the most highly regarded versions. Included is a fairly comprehensive explanatory introduction.



Sunday, February 21, 2021

hidden beneath the leaves

twentyseven

a six mat room off the lecture hall, veranda sliders opened to slick black rock round with age and gravel awash in white snow, ink mixed, the abbot's scroll complete, brushes clean, master ko considering the small tiger sawn oblong of ancient oak, its patina gently scraped, him crosslegged, considering, but some hesitation stalls emptiness, clarity: beneath the stout little cup of mashiko clay on his pine shelf is the crumpled letter from oregon, much traveled that, his book of poems published, would he come? feeling indifference or? and what might he reply? ... while a thief in the night has stolen two bags of rice and one of radishes, the abbot's harsh words, the gardener's curse, the professor saying, so, who dares befriend this degenerate reprobate?


friend: Japanese, tomo; Chinese, pang jau


NOTES
The kanji for friend is often thought of as two hands, right and left, reaching out to each other. However, the old kanji for two right hands clasped is considered the origin of this character. The notion expressed is one of mutual support.


Tao Te Ching 27 (Feng and English):
If the teacher is not respected,
And the student not cared for,
Confusion will arise, however clever one is.
This is the crux of mystery


Sunday, February 14, 2021

hidden behind the leaves

twentysix

peeling potatoes on back stoop,
purple skinned, gap toothed grin
roads clogged with snow
with well shoveled path to refectory door
bowls ladled full with sweet glutinous oats


photograph by M Simoni


NOTES
Tao Te Ching 26:
The sage travels days on end and never loses the way
always full, emptiness is his path
through noisy byways, silence is his shelter

Sunday, February 7, 2021

hidden behind the leaves

twentyfive

dawg kneedeep in slow eddy of graygreen water, creek softly over shallow ledge, through snow covered banks, rimed gravel, riffling white over rock on its way to the sea, down and down ineluctably, seams unseen, paths unknown, flowing, beguiling to human kind, beyond our ken, though how different are we from this watercourse way


NOTES
ineluctably: unable to be resisted or avoided; inescapable.

suggested reading: The Watercourse Way, Alan Watts

Tao Te Ching, Feng and English - 25 '... something mysteriously formed ...'
man should follow the earth,
for earth follows the heavens
and the heavens follow the Tao.
The Tao ... just and only natural