years of hunger beneath gojo bridge



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



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






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 among the beggars clustered about Kyoto’s Gojo Bridge.

ada limon: the end of poetry

what you should know to be a poet


Enough of osseous and chickadee and sunflower

and snowshoes, maple and seeds, samara and shoot,

enough chiaroscuro, enough of thus and prophecy

and the stoic farmer and faith and our father and tis

of thee, enough of bosom and bud, skin and god

not forgetting and star bodies and frozen birds,

enough of the will to go on and not go on or how

a certain light does a certain thing, enough

of the kneeling and the rising and the looking

inward and the looking up, enough of the gun,

the drama, and the acquaintance’s suicide, the long-lost

letter on the dresser, enough of the longing and

the ego and the obliteration of ego, enough

of the mother and the child and the father and the child

and enough of the pointing to the world, weary

and desperate, enough of the brutal and the border,

enough of can you see me, can you hear me, enough

I am human, enough I am alone and I am desperate,

enough of the animal saving me, enough of the high

water, enough sorrow, enough of the air and its ease,

I am asking you to touch me.


24th Poet Laureate of the United States


where can the dust alight?

fabrice dozias


The Fifth Ancestor

Daimin Konin wanted to find

his successor. He asked the monks to write

a poem to express their understanding. Jinshu,

the headmonk, wrote the following poem

on the wall in the middle

of the night:


Our body is the bodhi tree,
our mind a mirror bright.
Carefully wipe then hour by hour,
and let no dust alight.


When Eno saw this

next day, he said to the monk

standing next to him, “I too have a poem.

Since I am illiterate, would you

write it down for me?”


There is no bodhi tree,
nor stand of a mirror bright.
Since all is void,
where can the dust alight?


When Konin saw this, he

knew the author had the understanding

he was looking for, and he recognized Eno as

his dharma heir and hence the

Sixth Ancestor.


Shunryu Suzuki

branching streams flow in the darkness