Relentless snowfall – Tells it like it really is – The truth unobscured – by bottom-line self-interest – and the greed of the wealthy – Welcome relief. -a mountain poem protest
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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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A limestone staircase- blends with a cloudy sky- yet clouds hold no weight- and a staircase sheds no rain- Be careful with your footsteps- not to mar the clouds- nor pass through stone. -a mountain poem
Read more "A Limestone Staircase"
Moisture settles deep – into the shadows of spring – Effervescent green – Pop! Without warning, Autumn red – Full freedom in expression. – -a mountain poem
Read more "Shadows of Spring"
Petals on a fern – Animated by the wind – Petals on the ground – Soon returning through decay – How much better to be held. -a mountain poem
Read more "Petals on a Fern"
Empty bar stools – empty bar – Half empty bottles – for half empty lives. – Wipe the counter. – an urban mountain poem
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Her song drifts – out with the steam – from the shower. -a senryu poem
Read more "The Singer"
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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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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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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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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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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Amber light river – Snow stones, serpent road, ski cut – Mud run, scrub brush trees – Roadside ramen and television parking lot – Everybody just passes through like the water. -a mountain poem Image taken on my Android phone in Minakami, Japan
Read more "Amber Light River in Winter"
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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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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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 fire burns but do not think about the wood – The wind blows but do not think about the air – A stream splashes against a stone but do not think about the water. – a mountain poem
Read more "The Essence of Fire"
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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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.
Read more "Beetle Mushin"
There is stillness in thought,
a leaf blows up the hill –
There is thought in stillness,
a Macaque crosses a river –
Everything changes when nothing moves,
the moon is in the daytime sky –
a mountain poem
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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
Read more "Growing Moss"
Upward toward the clouds –
Where the air and currents play –
Extended yet soft –
Without an expectation –
Open to humility –
Alight in the autumn sun –
Read more "Sasaki Grass Wu Wei"
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.
A waning gibbous moon sets – The new autumn night left dark – Walking slow I kicked a frog – While thinking of compassion – a 7 syllable mountain poem
Read more "Kicking a Frog"
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 […]
Read more "The Walk to Happo Ike"
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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Take a look at the current –
Read more "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.
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
Read more "O’Keeffe’s World"