Three Pines and a Buddha - Part 1

Amitayus, the Buddha of Eternal Life

Amitayus, the Buddha of Eternal Life
India, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Basgo Castle, circa 1625 - LACMA Collections

© Copyright 1999 A. S. Kline All Rights Reserved

This work may be freely reproduced, stored, and transmitted, electronically or otherwise, for any non-commercial purpose.


1.

White lotus -

and in its arms feel the dragonfly.

2.

Not I -

under your eye-lids

you hide.

3.

On the sheet

of brown water

the mandarin ducks -

two lives

on the one surface.

4.

This rain

that falls

into the heart

of the lotus

empties time.

5.

The eyelid - opened

to reveal

one drop

in which you are.

7.

The poem's surface

covers

with a fine lacquer

life's black ink and gold thread.

8.

The insect

surprised by red dawn

vaguely

hesitates in the air.

9.

How

will the tethered boat

ever shake itself

free ?

10.

The boat -

grounded in the shallows

collects water-plants

croaking frogs

pale fish.

11.

One flame -

that exhausted

everything

condemns

and exalts a life.

12.

You need -

an infinite space

without selfishness

around you.

13.

On the frozen lake

the Emperor

shoots bright arrows

across banks of snow.

14.

The ice -

at your heart

an ominous silence.

15.

That Buddha

cannot feel

the dragon of rain and cloud

joyously dancing

on his head.

16.

Azure sea

azure sky

over which

we float

in a dream.

17.

Fragile though -

this pain

that a whole life

cannot contain.

From compassion

pledge and trust.

18.

The seven petals

of the wild flower

are not the totality

of your name,

this fragrance

is not your fragrance.

19.

The cat falls

confused

by the butterfly.

20.

The poet always knows

the sting at the core of the flower

21.

The eye

does not wait

for the mind

to hear the line.

22.

The curious stare

from the face of mindless nature

concerns me.

23.

True knowledge

is afraid

of knowing.

24.

This flower

without eyes.

25.

Waking -

to moonlight

in the night.

You being

the opposite

of emptiness.

26.

Again and again -

in the one night

water falling

on the sea.

27.

Blanched earth -

without desire

at last

the empty god

in the deserted field

sleeps on white stalks.

28.

What if then when pain ends

so does joy ?

29.

This screen

peopled with others' emotions

leaves mine outside.

30.

The fear -

and the pain

of deep love

part of the same joy.

31.

This different water moves

but is the same thing's

cold waterfall.

32.

Pressed against my side,

how to shrink you

into my heart

already there.

33.

No sound

of the waterfall's

great sound.

34.

Even when I stop

to consider

this silent Buddha

the pain of being

keeps on moving.

35.

How to judge

what never judges -

the inhuman

either way.

36.

Pine mist

and white fire

cover the country

of autumn silence.

37.

Mouth to mouth -

one spirit explores

another spirit

in the new landscape.

38.

Across the bridges

of time

I will follow

your imaginary breath.

39.

Who is

speaking here ?

Nothing

present, and no-one

past.

40.

Two leaves

lie over each other

under the basin's

stone sill.

41.

A flute

played

in the invisible evening

at Loyang long ago.

42.

Through the enchanting

autumn moonlight

imagining a goddess

vanishing in the cloud.

43.

Overpowering beauty -

the fragrance

of the yellow azalea.

44.

In the mirror -

the flower opens

to allow a drop

of dew deep inside.

45.

This pale flower

in the dawn light

dusts my white pillow.

46.

On the thorn hedge

sharp sparrows

and flowers of may.

47.

That to which you say no

I too will quietly resist

48.

Intermingling -

after flowering

the implicit fragrance.

49.

Resonance

in the flesh -

the bronze bell

still humming

in the walls

of the temple.

50.

The singing serpents

of wistaria branches

suddenly clotted

with flowers.

51.

Under your

closed eyes

see

the spirit singing.

52.

Closing your eyes

suddenly

you can hear

smell, feel.

53.

Breathe once

and the water

of her beauty

will be clouded.

54.

Lie -

on my breast

and be

the child of eternity.

55.

White plum-flower

bows to the lotus.

Red peony

bows to the chrysanthemum.

56.

Gold letters

and grey script

on the pure snow.

Branches dipped

in the pure ink

of midnight.

57.

Between two dreams

this other

day of life.

58.

Circles of light -

the pool of water

has had an idea.

59.

Water falling on water

washes the whole earth.

60.

The river of rain

makes us cling together

more closely

warming the heart.

61.

Who knows why

tonight

you are more passionate ?

A memory

held hostage forever ?

62.

Which little piece of me

is held

between the lines ?

63.

Silver dust

on the dark landscape

is this fine grain

of sentiment

you deride.

64.

Yourself

which you consider

of no value

I value.

The selfless mirror.

65.

Out of the fog

the river emerges

black and slow.

66.

Overpowering -

the sweetness

of the accumulated emotion

of echoing fortuity.

67.

Overcoming first fears

you accept

this poured-out gold

this innocuous lightning.

68.

I am

the space

I do not see

enclosed by

the space

I see.

69.

Now a memory

is already buried

in this mind

waiting to become present.

70.

Heart of ice -

you thaw

are suddenly gold.

71.

I carry it

from day to day

this sadness

which will not go away -

lingering.

72.

Sometimes -

the mind is monstrous.

Sometimes -

the body is culpable.

73.

Sap is a strange gold

in the straw of green

this rush of life

under the leaf's surface.

74.

A carpet

of young fir-trees

the dragon

of mist

on its back.

75.

Moon

deep in your body

draws the tides

of azure and silver.