About Me

My photo
Thanks to a residency at EcoHealth, my verse these days finds inspiration in the specter of future pandemics; for my dissertation at LMU München, where I tutor composition and edit a poetry weekly, I'm anatomizing the prosody of E. A. Robinson's sonnets—I also teach at MVHS and lead the Amerikahaus Literary Circle.

20160608

Mu Ch'i's Persimmons

by Gary Snyder

There is no remedy for satisfying hunger other than a painted rice cake.
Dōgen, November 1242

On a back wall down the hall
lit by a side glass door
is the scroll of Mu Ch'i's great
sumi painting, "persimmons"
The wind-weights hanging from the
axles hold it still.
The best in the world, I say,
of persimmons.
Perfect statement of emptiness
no other than form
the twig and the stalk still on,
the way they sell them in the
market even now.
The original's in Kyoto at a
lovely Rinzai temple where they
show it once a year
this one's a perfect copy from Benrido
I chose the mounting elements myself
with the advice of the mounter
I hang it every fall.
And now, to these over-ripe persimmons
from Mike and Barbara's orchard.
Napkin in hand,
I bend over the sink
suck the sweet orange goop
that's how I like it
gripping a little twig
those painted persimmons
sure cure hunger



"Six Persimmons," Muqi Fachang (牧溪法常), c. 1210-1269    

No comments:

Post a Comment