I seem to be having a fertile period...... ........I suspect because I am reading a book at the moment called "Bloodlands" which documents the period 1931-1945 in Soviet Russia and Germany, when approximately 14 million human beings died as a result of the various policies of Stalin and Hitler (this excludes casualties of actual soldiers) It is hard reading but necessary to my own mind, when so many now are calling for the need of "strong leadership". There are different forms of strength. Anyway, escaping from the book I turn to a few poems and think of this Forum and post a little bit more.
Here is one by Ryokan (1768-1831) entitled "Chinese Style Poems"
I know a gentleman poet
who writes in the high old way -
master of form from Han and Wei
or new-style modelled on the T'ang
With elegant strokes, he quietly composes
deftly adding images to startle.
But he hasn't learned to
speak from the heart;
all wasted! Though he writes
all night long.
This made me think of a poem I had written myself, now over 40 years ago. By no means zen, at least I don't think so.
The heart is dead,
only the remembered said.
The mind revolves
within its files
and picking smiles
to convey to watching eyes
if the heart
laughs or cries.
But it does neither.
It is dead.
Only the remembered said.
Well, another poem from Ryokan...
anyone should ask, had
these last words for the world:
Namu Amida Butsu -
and offered nothing more.