Ancient city below me
blurred in lavender-yellow haze
this October morning,
soon every congested sidewalk
uncharted hutong
will be touched by the wind.

When he is told
one thing
he understands ten,
said K’ung.

Patterned color on plain silk,
eyes glancing downward,
old city to which I awaken.

If I give you
one corner of a square,
what will you give me?
If I tell you
I have used one chopstick,
what will you say?

Jade Buddha below me,
Arhat, Bodhisattva.

If you have not been driven
to distraction, trying to fit
ideas into words,
how can I teach you—
to find joy there
is better?

Awakening in me—laboring, longing.
Plain silk must come first,
then the color.

I cannot approach you
however I long to   
find joy there
is better.

 

Hear it:

 

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