I have my shares.
Every day full of ghosts and erasures.
A few remain who live in fear
on their knees in prayer.
I have walked the linoleum halls
of hospitals, my psyche tuned
to those about to depart.
I can tell if the ghost is gone
though the heart
I have stood by and coached the dying:
Breathe deeply, more
And so I practice
source: Ronci, S.R. (2008). The skeleton of the crow: new and selected poems 1978-2008. Keene, NY: Ausable Press, p. 40. Seido Ray Ronci is a Zen monk and the director of Hokoku-An Zendo in Columbia, MO. He was a lay-student of Kyozan Joshu Sasaki-Roshi for 20 years before being formally ordained in 1999. Sasaki-Roshi has students all over the world, including the Canadian poet Leonard Cohen who practiced at Mt. Baldy monastery for five years. image: I’ve been unable to locate the source.