my nose wrinkles at the smell of incense

Version 2

 

master’s

handiwork cannot

be measured but still priests wag

their tongues explaining the “Way” and

babbling about “Zen.” This old monk has never

cared for false piety and my nose

wrinkles at the dark smell of

incense before the

Buddha.

 

Crazy Cloud

speaks of Daito’s unsurpassed

brilliance but the clatter of royal carriages

about the temple gates drowns him out and no

one listens to tales of the Patriarch’s long

years of hunger and homelessness

beneath Gojo

Bridge.

 

Ikkyu

__________

In order to deepen his Zen understanding, Daito Kokushi (also known as Shuho Myocho, 1281-1338), the founder of Daitoku-ji, passed a number of years hiding out amoung the beggars clustered about Kyoto’s Gojo Bridge.