Wednesday, January 10, 2018



A runaway son

     will never come

            into his own

My treasure

      is the cloud on the peak

            the moon over the valley

Traveling east or west

      light and free

            on the one road

I don't know whether

      I'm on the way

            or at home

To the Emperor's Messenger

The affairs of the world

      are nothing to me

            I am tired of coming and going

this poor hut is perfect for me

      the one possession

            of a monk who does nothing

In the stove

      there is no fire

            and no potato

so I have no time

      to wipe my mouth

            to greet the emperor's messenger

East Peak

From the beginning

      people have gazed in awe at Taigaku

            the East Peak

It shoots up into the heavens

       on it the sun rises

            the moon rises

Its original blue and yellow

      are not among the colors

            of other mountains

It will hold the spring sunlight

      year after year

            after year

For A Monk Going West

For many years

      our friendship

            has ripened

One morning

      you say good-bye

            and start down to the west

Stop trying to find the secret

      of succeeding

            as head priest

Look the sharp ax

      has been in your hands

            since the beginning


Asian translations by
Copper Canyon