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. 


                                growing old

                                going much farther now

                                in my memories


Poetry by countryfog
Read 734 times
Written on 2015-05-01 at 16:01

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Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
Beautifully and ably written, Fog. Somehow, your words preserve the quiet and stillness.

Jamsbo Rockda The PoetBay support member heart!
What a wonderful memory of serenity. It must have been so moving for you to remember every detail and bring it to life for us. Thank you.

The quiet beauty in this piece takes me to serenity, not easy for me, thank you. Bookmarked.

Åsa Andersson
I come back to read and re-read.

"the faint moment of quiet between each ringing reverberation"
- this is what I think you have acheived with your words.

This takes me to a "place" where "I" am being carried/held by the silent soul of a passed loved one, in an ocean of such souls silently "there" between the eclipse of life / death/ continuum.
This is how your poem makes me feel.