Pigeons in Paris

Pigeons in Paris – panic and take flight – But still alight on – a kind hand outstretched. – a five syllable mountain poem Paris is still here. We have found the city predictably subdued and the security can feel oppressive, albeit necessary, at times. That said, we have been universally welcomed by all. It’s […]

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Wind Slams the Glass

Rain clouds on rooftops swallow the spring sun and mute the flowers. Silhouettes in puddles fragmented by rain drops against a mirrored sky Then wind slams the glass. Reflections now obscured The flat sky breaks as the water recedes.   -a mountain poem This poem was written for Mina who has had to deal with far more illness […]

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Breath Freezes

Falling snow lands softly – joining the standing trees – with the clouds and the earth – the winter and the spring. – Exhale and breath freezes. -a six syllable mountain poem

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Harmony in the Void

Surrounded by sasa* now snow – A tree bends from the earth – As it’s pushed by the mountain wind – Cracking in the dry winter air – Emblazoned by the summer sun – Creative harmony in the void. -an eight syllable mountain poem * Sasa is type of low lying bamboo that covers the open sections […]

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Foolish Bamboo

Resigned to the forest floor –  Distinct from society – Green bamboo extends skyward –  Slim leaves rustle in the wind – Tonbi soar high overhead –  as sunlight warms the damp earth –  A fool seeking detachment.  -a seven seven mountain poem That alone you are in the middle of a vast murmuring crowd. It may […]

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The Stone Fountain

A mirror reflects without hesitation – A thousand puddles shine back at the moon – A stone fountain fills slowly with water – Up to the edge when the colors of spring – Instantly burst from a late winter’s day. – a ten syllable mountain poem

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Spontaneous Wind

Outside the wind blows spontaneously – Shaking the small house on a moonlit hill – While the people inside sleep Planning through dreams – Going over the murmurs of memories – Wrapped in the blankets of illusion – Distracted by what is most pressing – Overlooking the wind and its spontaneity – That shakes their small […]

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Zen is found at Disney Sea

A world of dreams and plastic – The perception constructed – By none other than ourselves – Recognize the fantasy – and there is not spilled popcorn – no prints to wipe off the glass – Zen is found at Disney Sea. -a seven syllable, seven line mountain poem Nothing makes the point – that all […]

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Misunderstanding Nature

When water rages, torrents thunder – Snowfalls gently subdue hardest stone – Neither one making apologies – as gentleness overcomes the strong – and yielding cannot be resisted – But by misunderstanding Nature – – a 9 syllable Mountain Poem This poem is a culmination of two main provocations. The first is the Zen expression, […]

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A Path for the Swirling Wind

Sitting under cloudy skies, a blank canvas up above –

Fallen petals are swept away –

A path for the swirling wind –

a 7 syllable mountain poem

Stonehouse or ‘Shiwu’ (1272-1352) wrote the following –

“I sit and meditate in the quiet and dark where nothing comes to mind

I sweep in front when the west wind is done

I make a path for the moonlight”

as translated by Red Pine

I love the idea of making “a path for the moonlight” as expressed by Stonehouse in this poem and it reminded me of the windy spring day where I shot a photographic series as the wind played with fallen cherry blossom petals. I want to keep working with this idea of peaceful action to the benefit of everything and nothing at all.



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Beetle Mushin

An old beetle sits waiting –

Slowly rusting in the rain –

The future left uncertain –

Except dust on the windshield –

and rims setting on the ground –

a mountain poem about mushin

Mushin is a Japanese word and Zen concept referring to a state of mind that is not fixed or occupied by thoughts or emotion so therefore open to all outcomes.


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Growing Moss

Drinking from a mountain stream –

Using one hand for a cup –

Water falls through to the moss – 

Clenching even more tightly – 

Water falls through to the moss –

a seven syllable mountain poem

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Sasaki Grass Wu Wei

Upward toward the clouds –
Where the air and currents play –
Extended yet soft –
Without an expectation –
Open to humility –
Alight in the autumn sun –



This poem originally was going to be a tanka but felt incomplete without the final line. Thus in it’s form here it is a bussokusekika (5,7,5,7,7,7). Wu Wei, originally from Taoism, refers to effortless action that is in alignment with the flow of life.

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The Walk to Happo Ike

The walk to Happo Ike heads upwards along the ridge – Needing only the effort to consider the nature of wind, of clouds, of sunshine – I am there in a moment – through a shift of attention. – a mountain poem A classic form of poetry well exemplified by the Chinese Zen poet, Stonehouse or Shi-wu (1272-1352), was […]

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Soaking In


Colors wash over –
Reflected in an onsen –
Mountains in autumn –
Soaking in contemplation –
Soaking in contemplation  

– An onsen is a hot spring bath and are particularly common in the mountains of Japan where volcanic activity is closer to the earth’s surface. While an onsen bath is popular year round, they become particularly enjoyable when the weather turns cooler.

Tanka are haiku with two 7 syllable lines as a cap at the end. Sometimes tanka are written by two poets with the first writing a 5,7,5 haiku and the other demonstrating understanding in the final two lines. The cap of understanding was the image that kept coming to mind when writing this poem, as if another person heard the haiku and echoed back the original sentiment twice using a repeated phrase.

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Look at the Current

Take a look at the current –
Trees turned to orange and red –
Songs fading into silence –
The warm glow of backlit leaves –
Each in time falling toward earth –
The final dance in the dust –

To become one with the Tao.

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O’Keeffe’s World

Open – Anthers, stigma, extending but – Shaded from view – – a mountain poem After Georgia O’Keeffe “Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven’t time, and to see takes time – like to have a friend takes time.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

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