Nothing in my life has left me a trace of the Path; 
I have lost my way between the true and the false. 
for long lost days the snow has covered the mountain 
This winter I am aware that the snow makes the mountain 


When you shake off the ties of the buddhas and ancestors, 
There’s a vastness beyond the line of ink;
When you do not do a single thing,
You’re free to move in all directions.

Philip Whalen

I praise those ancient Chinamen
Who left me a few words,
Usually a pointless joke or a silly question
A line of poetry drunkenly scrawled on the margin of a quick
                         splashed picture—bug, leaf,
                         caricature of Teacher
    on paper held together now by little more than ink
    & their own strength brushed momentarily over it
Their world & several others since
Gone to hell in a handbasket, they knew it—
Cheered as it whizzed by—
& conked out among the busted spring rain cherryblossom winejars
Happy to have saved us all.

Mahasattva Fu

In those days I remember
when I had as yet no satori,
each time I heard the flute played, my heart grieved.
Now I have no idle dream over my pillow.
I just let the player play whatever tune he likes.

Robinson Jeffers

Inside a cave in a narrow canyon near Tassajara 
The vault of rock is painted with hands, 
A multitude of hands in the twilight, a cloud of men's palms,
 no more, 
No other picture. There's no one to say 
Whether the brown shy quiet people who are dead intended 
Religion or magic, or made their tracings 
In the idleness of art; but over the division of years these careful 
Signs-manual :ore now like a sealed message 
Saying: "Look: we also were human; we had hands, not paws. 
 All Hail 
You people with the clever hands, our supplanters 
In the beautiful country; enjoy her a season, her beauty, 
 and come down 
And be supplanted; for you also are human.

Tiantong Rujing

I, Tiantong, have a calf tonight.
The golden-faced Gautama takes up reality.
Even if you want to buy it, it has no price.
The chirp of a cuckoo is heard from above a solitary cloud.


The World-Honored One has intimate language
Mahakashyapa does not conceal it.
Night rain causes the blossoms to fall.
The fragrant water reaches everywhere.

Rabindranath Tagore

Covered vast distances, spent much money
For a glimpse of faraway wonders
Of imposing mountains and endless sea.
Yet I have not seen with open eyes
Only a few feet beyond my front door
A dewdrop glistening
At the tip of a rice stem.