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Visit to Katagiri

By Diane di Prima A pleasure. We talk of here & there gossip about the folks in San Francisco laugh a lot. I try to tell him (to tell someone) what my life is like: the hungry people, the trying   to sit zazen in motels; the need in America like a sponge   sucking up whatever prana & courage "Pray to the Bodhisattvas" sez Katagiri Roshi. I tell him that sometimes, traveling, I am too restless to sit still, wiggle &   itch. "Sit only ten minutes, five minutes at a time" he sez-first time it has occurred to me that this wd be OK. As I talk, it becomes OK there becomes some continuity in my life; I even understand (or remember) why I'm on the road. As we talk a continuity, a transfer of energy takes place. It is darshan, a blessing, transmission of some basic joy some way of seeing. LIKE A TANGIBLE GIFT IN THE HAND   In the heart. It stays with me.

The Present

by Billy Collins Much has been said about being in the present. It’s the place to be, according to the gurus, like the latest club on the downtown scene, but no one, it seems, is able to give you directions. It doesn’t seem desirable or even possible to wake up every morning and begin leaping from one second into the next until you fall exhausted back into bed. Plus, there’d be no past with so many scenes to savor and regret, and no future, the place you will die but not before flying around with a jet-pack. The trouble with the present is that it’s always in a state of vanishing. Take the second it takes to end this sentence with a period––already gone. What about the moment that exists between banging your thumb with a hammer and realizing you are in a whole lot of pain? What about the one that occurs after you hear the punch line but before you get the joke? Is that where the wise men want us to live in that intervening tick, the tiny slot that occurs after you have spent hours sear

Strange, Strange

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Each woman is a beauty Why do we need Miss Universe? Each person is a treasure for his nation & the world Why do we need the National Living Treasure? Each mountain is wonderful Why do we need One Hundred Great Mountains? Everything on earth is the sun’s heritage Why do we need the World Natural Heritage Parks? The sun can live Ten Billion years. How long will Japan survive – Nobody knows. In the public construction enterprise Somebody makes big money & breaks down the earth Why do you call it public? Stone Age Japanese never knew Atomic Energy. Now nuclear power plants are Poisoning modern Japan to a slow death – Nanao Sakaki (November 20, 1999)

Break the Mirror

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sit quietly, you happy lucky idiot

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if you have time to chatter read books if you have time to read walk into mountain, desert and ocean if you have time to walk sing songs and dance if you have time to dance sit quietly, you happy lucky idiot   – Nanao Sakaki   APRIL 2, 2013 BY LIVE & LEARN Photo: Mme Scherzo

Break the Mirror

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In the morning After taking cold shower —what a mistake— I look at the mirror. There, a funny guy, Grey hair, white beard, wrinkled skin, —what a pity— Poor, dirty, old man, He is not me, absolutely not. Land and life Fishing in the ocean Sleeping in the desert with stars Building a shelter in the mountains Farming the ancient way Singing with coyotes Singing against nuclear war— I’ll never be tired of life. Now I’m seventeen years old, Very charming young man. I sit quietly in lotus position, Meditating, meditating for nothing. Suddenly a voice comes to me: “To stay young, To save the world, Break the mirror.”  ― Nanao Sakaki, Break the Mirror

A POEM FOR THE END

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by Sheila Dershowitz Good night loon, Good night goon, Good night nastiest man in the room. Good night lies, Good night spies, Good night rants and alibis. Good night twitter, Good night tweets. Good night all those crazy bleats. Good night red hats, Good night cruel chants, Good night sniveling syncophants. Good night wall, Good night cages, Good night endless midnight rages. Good night fine people on both sides, Good night losers, good night suckers, Good night evil nasty fuckers. Good night Ivanka Good night Jared, Good night Baron, we hardly knew ya. Good night thief, Good night grief, Good night cruel and callous chief. Good night fake news, And Fox and friends, This is how the nightmare ends. Good night at last. It’s time to go, The American people told you so.