Dark of winter, eleventh month,
rain and snow slushing down;
a thousand hills all one color,
ten thousand paths where almost no one goes.
Past wanderings all turned to dreams;
grass gate, its leaves latched tight;
through the night I burn chips of wood,
quietly reading poems by men of long ago.
The plaintain before my window,
tall, lanky, brushing the clouds, cool: \
writing waka, composing kanshi,
all day long I sit by its side.
Done with a long day’s begging,
I head home, close the wicker door,
in the stove burn branches with the leaves still on them,
quietly reading Cold Mountain poems.
West wind blasts the night rain,
gust on gust drenching the thatch.
Now and then I stick out my legs, lie down—
what’s there to think about, what’s the worry
Autumn Day Stroll in the Country
Shallow water, soft sand,
one path that angles along;
the clack of a loom, murmur of a grove—
people living there.
Beyond banked clouds of yellow,
white waves rise up:
fragrant stalks of rice ripening,
bounded in buckwheat blossom.
Sailing in the Moonlight
We monks boat in moonlight, circle through the reeds.
The boatman shouts the tide recedes; we must return.
The village folk mistake us for a fishing boat
And scramble to the beach to buy our catch..
Still things moving,
firm become unfirm,
land like ocean waves,
house like a boat—
a time to be fearful,
but to delight as well:
no wind, vet the wind-bells
keep on ringing.