TOUCH

I would reach out
in touch you
but as it is
my fingers
barely
reach the keyboard.
I would take
your picture
the next time
I see you, but
it would appear
instantly, no waiting
for someone to tell me
as you were merely
a blurred image
appearing days later
pulled from an envelope.
Perhaps I’ll leave
a posting on your
digital wall
and simply hope
you are still alive
somewhere just
out of reach.

GYOZAN DRAWS A LINE 鐵笛倒吹 八十三

At the end
of a long day of discourse
the teacher may ask the student
what have you learned.
How should the student respond.

The student may raise a finger
and trace a line
in the air of a fading day.
Which, I ask you
is the teacher
and which
is the student?


A reflection on Case 83 of The Iron Flute

 

CHU TI’S ONE-FINGER CH’AN

When you believe you have
found your teacher,
ask him a question.
If he gives you an answer,
be certain that he
is not your teacher.
But if he holds up
just a single finger,
will you pause
in false anticipation,
or do you gaze at
his raised finger
and carefully consider
the answer.


A reflection on Case 19 of the Hekiganroku (Blue Cliff Record)