Saturday, June 2, 2012

Yesterday's tea


Yesterday’s tea                                                                     

Joshu said, “Empty your cup.”
But ... my master, ready or not, starts pouring –

spattering everywhere the stagnant residue,
the spent rends of yesterday’s tea.

Roughly scoured, deeply discolored,
my cup (one tomorrow)

will be crushed under the Master’s heel.
Ryoken offered the moon,

but content was the pitiable thief
to wrap himself in the old man’s robe.

Don’t confuse the moon with the finger,
Ryoken would say.

You say the moon and finger are One.
How confusing!

What You have poured into my cup –
I have drunk to the pungent dregs,

whether medicinal tea ... or mulled wine,
my beard and chest soaked 

and darkly stained, waving frantically,
pounding the table and clamoring for more!

O Master, You know how to shake up the ol' teahouse!
You’ve invited the moon inside to drink from Your cozied pot.

O child of God, Truth is One.
Contradictions are merely apparent.

                       (Unpublished)

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