Wednesday, June 5, 2019


1939 ~ 2019

RENGETSU (Otagaki Nobu, 1791-1875) ~


 from Lotus Moon

Blackened Thing

Another year passes:

On my kitchen shelf

Something blackened

With soot —

A little Buddha image.

Seeing Young Nuns On
Their Begging Rounds

First steps on the

Long path to Truth:

Please do not dream

Your lives away,

Walk on to the end.

When People Tease Me About My
Constant Change Of Residence

A floating cloud,

Drifting about


Here and there

Not wanting to fade away.

The Oni

Do not resist, (Mr. Onu):

Open the lotus inside

And overturn

All those demons

In your heart!


Coming and going,

Without beginning or end,

Like ever changing

White clouds:

The heart of things.

The Pleasures of Calligraphy

Taking up the brush

Just for the joy of it,

Writing on and on,

Leaving behind

Long lines of dancing letters.

Incense Burner

A single line of

Fragant smoke

From the incense stick

Trails off without a trace:

One's heart, as well?

A Life of Retirement

Reside in a living landscape

And it becomes yours:

Daikon dry along the fence,

Trees full of chestnuts

Brush against the eaves.

Thoughts While Making
A Flower Pot

Dew and butterflies are

Attracted to flowers of

Certain scent and color:

Do they have

Favorites too?

Digging Clay And Making A Vase

Taking the fragile

Little handmade

Things to sell —

How lonely it looks

In the market place!


Lotus Moon
translated by John Stevens
White Pine Press