"Every day, priests exhaustively examine the Dharma

and incessantly chant complex sutras.

Prior to that, they should really learn

how to read the love letters

sent by the wind and rain,

the snow and moon.

Who needs the corrupt Buddhism of corpse-like masters?

Me, I've spent three decades alone in the mountains

and solved all of my koans there, 'Living Zen'

among the tall pines and high winds.

--Ikkyu Sojun (a.k.a. Crazy Cloud, 1394-1491), Zen hermit/poet

Golden pedestals of lineage falling.

Waves of regret crash on the shores of non-duality.

Another "teacher" falling and fallen, yet teaching-by-default.

Whole mandalas weeping at omissions, admissions, blame, fault.


The dark winds and gluttonous dripping fat of the Setting Sun World

has flowed into the Valley of the Great Eastern Sun again, thick and sickly.

There is anguish, fear, rage, confusion of heart-mind.

The wheel of the Dharma can turn forward or backward in an instant,

but troubled weather systems of human-failing does not defile the original teaching.


In this era of unskillful means,

and clownish unveiled shadows dancing,

when even the supposed "leader of leaders" declares:

"grab 'em by the pussy,"

everything is being carried back to the drawing board.


Perhaps the time has finally arrived

to sidestep human gurus and lineages of mindless obeyance

and find the Original Teacher of the original teacher

back out in the forest, under a tree that shades your own silent sitting.

(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen (Wandering Stone Lantern) / purelandpoetry.com

sound: "Kuroda Bushi" / Tessen: Music for Shakuhachi / Cesar Viana