Wednesday, December 28, 2016

6 Short Poems about the Monk Ikkyū by John Guzlowski





1. Ikkyū stands at the edge of the great sea— there are waves in his eyes so he shuts them. 2. If Ikkyū falls asleep, his dreams don’t. They live in the river country of trees and sunshine. 3. Ikkyū sits in the marketplace and tries to explain everything: Here’s what he says to a soldier: A tree is the palm of my hand and the face of all there is in the universe to wonder about It is the tree to heaven and its roots start in my heart and yours. 4. Ikkyū knows Buddha can’t tell him why the rain falls or why sin is a wide road with many curves or why he grows old when he has struggled so much to know so little of life. 5. Ikkyū watches the snow fall at night He’s happy it’s warm and that others sleep in the shadows with him. 6. Ikkyū eats a black cherry and remembers a dead friend how much he loved strawberries their dark sweetness early in the morning the harvest never lasted long enough

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