LEAVING STILL

He never wants to leave this place.
He never wants to leave
wherever he is at that moment.
Moving is the hardest thing
for him, arriving is easy.
She points out that you
cannot arrive here
without leaving there.
He reminds her that
something being easy
is not the same thing
as something being desired.
He can and does arrive, but it
is easy only by comparison
to the greater pain of leaving.
She says, I am leaving now,
but you can join me.
He says I cannot even bear
the pain of that thought.

LOOKING BACK FORWARD

Between now and eventually lies all of history. We are unable to see it
though it lies in our field of vision. That’s the problem, we only know
how to look backward. We are barely able to see where we are. It isn’t
that we don’t want to be here, merely that here is difficult to see, for
we have a tendency to block our vision. Imagine a map with an X or other
marker saying “You are Here.” Yet seeing that we know we are not there for
in that instant we will look down and see where we truly are. But the better
statement to the “you are here” sign is not to call it wrong, but rather
to simply ask it, how did you know. It will answer, your visit was history
lying between my now and my eventually.

FIVE QUESTIONS, NO ANSWERS

He no longer cared when
it would happen, he knew
it would or would not according
to its own whims and desires
and it would happen when
it chose to do so.
He could not control who
would be there, it might be him
or might not, so if he was, fine,
and if not, so be it.
And he knew not to stand still
assuming it would happen there,
for it was likely to happen there
or somewhere else, a place of its choosing.
It would have its own reasons
and he could ascribe a reason
and it might suit him, but
he knew at a deep level that
he would be engaged in the sort
of self-delusion he so
despised in others.
And when he understood all of this,
he knew exactly what he needed to do
and retired from the news
uncertain who he would be,
where he would go or when,
what he would do and why
anyone would care, and he was happy.

THE QUESTION

If my mother was here
she would ask me what
I have to say for myself.
Just this once, I
would remain silent,
for there is nothing
that needs saying
and she would be certain
that if there were
she should be the one
to say it, but silence
would drive her mad.
So perhaps it is good
that she is not here,
that she did not ask,
though if there is a heaven
and hell, God or the devil
will need to tell her what
they have to say for themselves,
or they will never, ever
hope to hear the end of it.

WHERE?

The moment you are certain
that you know where
you are going
is the precise moment
at which you become totally lost.

The moment you realize
that you have little idea
where you are and none
about where you will end up
is when you found yourself.

At this moment you are here
which was there a moment ago
and will be there a moment from now
even if you do not move, so it
is easier to say you are nowhere, always.

EVERYWHERE BUT HERE OR THERE

It is odd, when you stop
and think about it, that
our sense of place is dictated
by places other then here.

For centuries we were the center
of the universe, and all
celestial bodies moved around
us — without us, no movement,

but if t here were no suns, moons,
planets or stars to see then we
ceased wholly to cosmically matter,
an unsettling state at best.

Now we know our little corner
of the galaxy, our planet, country,
our city, our neighborhood, our –
but what we don’t want to acknowledge

is that our requires not our, here
demands there, and we, as
history has repeatedly demonstrated,
requires they, which means you.

KENSHO

It will arrive before you know it,
will be gone again
before you realize it was even here.
This is how it is supposed to be,
Even if not how we want it.
We will know it had been there
and that needs to be enough
for we would try and grasp it,
try to contain it, hold it.
But we are a sieve to water,
an hourglass to sand,
and satori would have
no other way.

WHERE, EXACTLY?

The one thing that will drive him crazy
is a sign with a star, or square,
or anything that says “You Are Here.”
The one place he has never been,
will never be, is standing on a map.
He admits he may be nearby,
but here is out of the question.
He’s never really sure where he is,
but he is always here, even
if no one else can be.
He would like to go there
sometime, but he knows that even
if he makes the journey when he arrives
he will be still be exactly here,
so why waste the effort.

SOZAN’S FOUR DON’TS 鐵笛倒吹 九十二

You may seek to follow
the path of the dove
a fool know many roads.
You may wrap yourself
in fine linen, an infant
wears only his skin
and knows this moment
is already gone.

Think long before you speak
of how to walk
along the path, of where it leads.
The baby says nothing,
will not speak of where
he has been,
where he is going, for to him
there is only here,
and silence
is descriptive enough.


A reflection on case 92 of the Iron Flute Koans

NOT HERE

Between now and eventually lies all of history. We are unable to see it
though it lies in our field of vision. That’s the problem, we only know
how to look backward. We are barely able to see where we are. It isn’t
that we don’t want to be here, merely that here is difficult to see, for
we have a tendency to block our vision. Imagine a map with an X or other
marker saying “You are Here.” Yet seeing that, we know we are not there, for
in that instant we will look down and see where we truly are. But the better
statement to the “you are here” sign is not to call it wrong, but rather
to simply ask it, how did you know. It will answer, your visit was history
lying between my now and my eventually.