Ten Verses on Koans, III

Responses to koans in Gateless Gate, Blue Cliff Record, and Book of Serenity.

Blue Cliff Record #18, Book of Serenity #85
A seamless monument, he requests -- to a seamless life,
Lived like a fabric smooth and unbroken from river to lake.
Are you so keen to unemploy the tailor?
Or has your eye perceived the seamlessness of every seam?
2016 Jan

Gateless Gate #30
Endless play everywhere. No inside, no outside.
The ten thousand things cross the ten thousand synapses,
Merge into a single axon, which passes itself into
The dendrites of ten thousand other cells.
This is not just a nervous system.
It is mountains, rivers, the great wide earth.
No outside, no inside. Endless play everywhere.
2016 Feb

Gateless Gate #33
Snowflakes are beautiful because they are gone.
Flowers come after, also gone, gone before they arrive.
Rocks, lakes, stars -- all that is mind --
All long departed: beauties of absence.
2016 Feb

Blue Cliff Record #3, Book of Serenity #36
Listen, I will tell you the good news: you're going to die.
You don't have to get everything fixed, figured out.
It's not up to you. You're off the hook, Dead One Walking.
You only have to be present to the sky's shining faces.
If you say, "no time soon, I hope," you might as well be dead already.
1800 years is just the same as one day.
Right now, the only eternity there is, they're just the same.
2016 Feb

Blue Cliff Record #26
Behold the special! So ordinary.
Behold the ordinary! Sublimely special.
Sitting alone leads to bowing.
Bowing leads to receiving blows.
This ordinary is extraordinary precisely because there is no extra.
2016 Mar

Gateless Gate #40
Every true assertion is also false.
Every false one also true.
Speech, calling a thing this or that, is a hawk's cry in a canyon.
It says neither something nor nothing, and it echoes.
2016 Mar

Blue Cliff Record #70
An action (speaking, say)
Doesn't come from a decision (to open the lips, say)
It doesn't come from anywhere, it's just suddenly (there, say)
One ex nihilo universe after another, all day long. Say!
2016 Apr

Blue Cliff Record #71
The monkey leaped far from branch to branch, and
Now would instruct the eagle and turtle alike how to soar.
Shoulding the teacher is a gutsy display,
But what do you do for an encore?
2016 Apr

Blue Cliff Record #91, Book of Serenity #25
Rhinoceros broken to make a fan, also broken. One brokenness or two?
Bring forth your brokenness and, what is the same, the rhino's.
Then you may draw a perfect circle
And behold what is right under your nose.
2016 Apr

Blue Cliff Record #42
Beauty of flake, sting of slap,
No place but here, no place but here.
Beauty of flake, sting of slap,
Long since gone, long since gone.
2016 Apr

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