parting words

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    Hai-en Temple South Korea Home of the Total Tripitaka Set of Printing Blocks Paid Member

    Four a.m. sandy courtyard, Orion rising The great drum       booms from the painted bell-tower        And the bell then bongs morning sutra chanting in the Great Hall up another flight of stairs        & one more terrace further up the slope,        is the hall of all        the birchwood blocks.        that print the thousand-volume Triple Basket        Eighty thousand carved blocks rank on rank.        Cooled by grillwork open windows More »
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    Haiku for the Seasons Paid Member

    Richard Wright, Rue Jacob, Paris, 1949           I am nobody:A red sinking autumn sun          Took my name away.              —         In this rented roomOne more winter stands outside        My dirty window pane.               —         A sleepless spring night: Yearning for what I never had,        And for what never was.               — More »
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    A Sweetness Appears and Prevails Paid Member

    The reason we bother to get up in the morning is because of everything; is because there is another arithmetic without internal sense and we ache at the borders; is because the grey music of the first chickadee before dawn in the hemlocks is the grinding engines of the humpyard carried on morning air; is because we are afraid and know everyone is afraid and do not know who will soothe our tears nor how many tears we will hold unshed. You seem to be you and I seem to be me. My sorrows are no greater than your sorrows. Thou art beautiful, o my loves, as tears are. More »
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    Parting Words Summer 2014 Paid Member

    Men ask the way to Cold MountainCold Mountain: there’s no through trail.In summer, ice doesn’t meltThe rising sun blurs in swirling fog.How did I make it?My heart’s not the same as yours.If your heart was like mineYou’d get it and be right here. More »
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    The Squirrel Sutra Paid Member

    Walking to the water troughI stopped to see a squirrel stop,a red squirrel drinking at the tap. Hearing me it climbed the firstthin branches of a pine, then lookedto see if I was any kind of threat. And as I stood, a blackcap settledon a branch, then hummingbird-likeseemed to stop midair while the Yellow King with his hordeof hungry ghosts, the White Kingsurrounded by celestial musicians, More »
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    Amagansett Cherry Paid Member

    Praise to the cherry on the lawn of the library,the heave and contorted thrust of it, a master,on its own root, negating the word weeping (miles to the nearest tears),requiring instead down-fountaining, or descending from a ferocious intention. Whatever twists the trunksubsumed into pink explosiveness, and then, all summer,the green-black canopy. Prefer it unbent? I have no use for you then,says the torque and fervor of the tree. Mark Doty is a poet and writer whose work has won numerous accolades and awards, most recently the National Book Award for Poetry in 2008. This poem is taken from his forthcoming collection Deep Lane, to be published by W. W. Norton. More »