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Only two in the garden:
             plum blossoms at their peak
And an old man full of years.


© Stevens, J. (1996, 2006) (trans.). One robe, one bowl: the Zen poetry of Ryōkan. Boston: Weatherhill, p. 60. The hermit-monk Ryōkan, beloved for his autobiographical poetry and playful nature, lived a life of eccentricity and dedication in eighteenth-century Japan. image: self-portrait sketch by Ryōkan at 

A word about these occasional posting of poetry and sayings. Some of you have told me that you derive joy and insight from such lines, others that you skip past them in search of more meatier posts. My reason for featuring other writers’ work — without commentary — is to (a) take a respite from self-centered writing and (b) make room for voices that can speak with clarity and wisdom, allowing you to find meaning in our own sweet ways.


4 responses »

  1. Poignant and beautiful.

    Please keep the poems. Here is another – April in Hertfordshire…

    Pale spring sun falls soft and bright
    nature bids me join
    her, green shoots infused with Life

    • thank you, fiona. yes i will.

      the poem you sent: gently calling me to be aware of the world around and inside of me..

      is it called “april in hertfordshire” or is that where you reside? do you know how wrote it?


  2. dear peter,

    I’m glad you found it gentle, for that is what the day felt like to me – Hertfordshire is where I live and I wrote it yesterday morning.



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