Friday, April 5, 2013

eighty thousand poems

I learned from Cuttlefish that this is US National Poetry Month. Coincidentally, I just came across a lovely poem (set aside the religion) by the garden designer Musō Soseki (1275-1351). It was recited in “Dream Window: Reflections on the Japanese Garden” on the Smithsonian Channel, which I also loved.

The sounds of the stream
splash out
the Buddha’s sermon

Don’t say
that the deepest meaning
comes only from one’s mouth

Day and night
eighty thousand poems
arise one after the other

and in fact
not a single word
has ever been spoken


  1. Do you remember
    Yes, I remember
    We had so much fun
    And peanut butter sandwiches
    And licking my thumb
    I wish you hadn't gone away
    I wish you were still here
    I do not understand
    Why you are not near
    Mummy said you left me
    She said you went away
    'Cause you didn't love me
    Forever and a day
    Buy, I don't believe her
    She is telling me a lie
    We are friends forever
    'Till the day we die
    One day I will find you
    Where ever you are
    And we will be together
    Wishing on a star.

    R Davis.

  2. For Ko Who Has Come Back From China

    A brief meeting today
      but it seems to gather up
        a hundred years
    We have exchanged
      the compliments of the season
        that's word-of-mouth Zen
    Don't say that
      your wisdom and my ignorance
        belong to opposing worlds
    Look: China and Japan
      but there are not
        two skies

    -- Muso Soseki, translated by W.S. Merwin and Soiku Shigematsu