RUYGE’S ULTIMATE STAGE鐵笛倒吹 二十八

 

If you answer the question
I will ask you another
each more difficult.

If you enter a room
and catalog its contents
there will always be a door
leading to yet another room,
another inventory to be taken
to determine what is there
and what is missing.

It is only when you enter
an empty room,
that you will find all things.


A reflection on case 28 of the Iron Flute Koans

TO BE, OR NOT

As he begins to speak, she realizes
this conversation will, as usual,
devolve into a monologue.
It is always this way, and
with a finely honed skill,
she, eyes wide open,
slips out of this moment.
She is certain, correctly so,
he will never notice.
He will fill in her nods, assume
she has heard and agreed,
and this pleases him greatly.
It is always like this, the script
unvarying, it is simply
words, words, words.
She knows this and lives with it
more from Newton’s law,
her own Yorick awaiting
a Hamlet she knows is gone.

THREE CALLS 鐵笛倒吹 三十九

If your name is called
how do you answer?
If it is called again
and then again, will
your answer always
be exactly the same,
or will you grow angry
and deny even yourself?

Surely your teacher
knows who you are
but knowing yourself,
that is the highest mountain
you will be asked to climb.


A reflection on case 39 of the Iron Flute Koans

RAISON

 

There is a reason –
there must be a reason
for everything, that is
just how things are supposed
to be, how we decree them.
And when things are events,
we are at liberty to
tell them to comply with our direction.
If they fail, then we consign them
to miracles or the work
of the devil, though we
expect him to obey the rules
as well, for otherwise
he, too, would be a miracle
and that would leave
a Gordian knot
we dare not try to unravel.