Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pants Around Ankles, Too Weak To Undress

5 Passages of Ikkyu's Skeletons:

"The vagaries of life,
Though painful,
Teach us
Not to cling
To this floating world."

"No one really knows
The nature of birth
Nor the true dwelling place:
We return to the source,
And turn to dust."

"No beginning,
No end;
Our mind
Is born and dies:
The emptiness of emptiness!"

"In this world,
All things, without exception,
Are unreal:
Death itself is
An illusion."

"Writing something
To leave behind
Is yet another kind of dream:
When I awake I know that
There will be no one to read it."

(from "Wild Ways: Zen Poems of Ikkyu," translated by John Stevens, White Pine Press, 2003)

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