Sengai

The followers of Buddha are extolled in every quarter
The disciples of Confucius are praised throughout the world
I sit on a rock among vines and creepers

Now and then watching the drifting clouds

That pass before my eyes.

Jenny Allen

Breathing in, I wash the dishes,
Aware of their usefulness in holding
Nourishing meals that have sustained my family for many years.
I wonder why it is always, always me doing the dishes
By myself,
And whether, interconnected as all human beings are,
This may be the one exception.
Breathing out, I release my feelings into the universe, ever hopeful that someone, somewhere,
Will sense my need,
And offer to help.
I open my heart to the possibility of this miracle.

(From a collection in the New Yorker)

Ryokan

Returning home from a day of begging;
Sage has covered my door.
Now, a bunch of leaves burns with the brushwood.
Silently I read the poems of Han-shan,
Accompanied by the autumn wind rustling through the reeds.
I stretch out both feet and lie down.
What is there to fret over?
What is there to doubt?

Shuho Myocho

Having once penetrated the cloud barrier,
The living road opens out north, east, south, and west.
In the evening resting, in the morning roaming, neither host nor guest.
At every step the pure wind rises.

Barbara Kingsolver

Rent a house near the beach, or a cabin
but: Do not take your walking shoes.
Don’t take any clothes you’d wear
anyplace anyone would see you.
Don’t take your rechargeables.
Take Scrabble if you have to,
but not a dictionary and no
pencils for keeping score.
Don’t take a cookbook
or anything to cook.
A fishing pole, ok
but not the line,
hook, sinker,
leave it all.
Find out
what’s
left.

Koun Ejo

I’m just a festering mass,
a beast amongst humans.

For years I minced barefoot,
adopting some “Continental” style.

Now,
monk’s straw sandals on my feet,

I touch my nose.