2 Aug
Posted in: Poems
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00muqi_6persMu Ch’i’s Persimmons
by Gary Snyder

On the 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 choose 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

(Dogen: “…there is no remedy for
satisfying hunger other than a
painted rice-cake.” November 1242.) 

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