Golden Buddha in
a Blade of Grass
I'm wading through Stranger Music, Leonard Cohen's collected poems, written before his diamond-clean Book of Longing. "The Death of a Lady's Man" section is particularly trying. So much bitterness anchored in shattered illusions of love.
And then, out of nowhere and way out of context, Cohen's Zen master pops up in two poems and dispels the darkness.
It has something to do with absolute acceptance. It has something to do not only with not casting judgment but not suppressing the urge to cast judgment: with not having the urge to cast judgment.
"Kone," says Roshi, deep into a bottle of Courvoisier, "you should write cricket poem."
It's the summer of 1977, and they're sitting in the dark in a cabin on Mt. Baldy with the door open to let the breeze in, listening to the crickets.
"I've already written a cricket poem," says Leonard. "Two years ago. Right here in this cabin."
They sit in the darkness a while longer, and then Roshi says, "Kone, what is the source of this world?"
When Leonard can provide no answer, Roshi says, "Ah...difficult..." And then, in a soft voice: "Yah, Kone...you should write more sad."
Then he rings a little bell by his side, and Leonard bows and leaves.
Photo by Diciu
Silenceand a deeper silencewhen the cricketshesitate
Photo by S. Sparrow
about as good
as the morning-glories...
translated by David G. Lanoue
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