I went with a business associate, since a good friend. As we entered he said "What do you hear?" and I said "Nothing." "Exactly," he said, "I come here to listen to myself."
Coming To The End Of A Long Journey (revised)
I sit all stillness, listening to a faint bell record these lost years
Wei Ying-Wu, "Climbing Above Mind-Jewel Monastery"
Thirty-five years ago, and as many to find the words for it . . . leaving behind for a day the "ten thousand things" and come to the polished floor of a small Buddhist temple in Taipei, swept and glistening with the little light leaning in at the doorway, umber and ochre as though peering into a thousand year old moment and place suspended in amber. Buddha faintly gleaming, worn smooth where countless hands had reached out to bless and be blessed, reciting a liturgy in language I could not speak but had come to try to understand, my own prayers then only rote and recitation And then thunder behind the temple, and in some way inside it; in the garden and grounds wind turning leaves like prayer wheels.
in Buddha's cupped hand
even that sparrow's song
sounds like scripture
There was both no sense of time there and of time beyond counting, a koan I had no answer to then. Perhaps it was there in the bell from somewhere beyond the temple, not its sounding but the faint moment of quiet between each ringing reverberation, the held breath of the hollow air, all these years still hearing the silence.
going much farther now
in my memories
Poetry by countryfog
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Written on 2015-05-01 at 16:01
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