You sit before him
an axe in his hand. He asks a question and says if you answer I will cut off your right hand, if you do not respond I will sever your left.
There is no sound
from the clock in the corner as you silently grab his axe and he smiles in deeply shared knowledge.
A reflection on Case 82 of the Iron Flute Koans
Buddhist, Japan, Koan, language, meditation, mind, Philosophy, Poem, Religion, Uncategorized, Zen
If I ask you
“does a circle have both inside and outside,” what do you say. If you cut it into three pieces, which has inside, which outside and what of the third?
A reflection on Case 55 of the True Dharma Eye (Shobogenzo) Koans
My wife pauses by the placard
in the nature preserve and tells me that what I have been calling grasses are in fact a sedge known as sawgrass.
She points out the warning that
it’s serrated on the edge and earned its name from those who grasped it without knowing or thinking first.
I feign listening but she knows
my mind is elsewhere, knows I often depart conversations suddenly while maintaining a false presence.
She does not know I am 40 years
younger, pouring hydrogen peroxide on the cut deep into the interossei muscles when the glove slipped off
and the yucca I was boldly trying
to pull from the dry, stone like soil had decided this was the moment to extract its final revenge.
Morning slowly encroaches
on your dreams, eroding
images despite your tightening grasp.
Clear lines blur, become hazy
and dissipate bleached
by the first light creeping
around the shades.
The dreams do not care
for they will arise again
when they choose
and this is for them
a mere inconvenience.
You are the loser here
for the linear mindstring
once cut never reties
with simplicity and something
is always lost in the tying.