Renewing the Body in Silence Moon

Posted by on Feb 15, 2023 in Blog | No Comments
Renewing the Body in Silence Moon

Renewing the Body in Silence Moon

New Moon  February 20, 2023


Night bells, silence & dark-robed bows

departing the line, donning slippers

hands in shashu, attention of self forgotten

in the forward & back of feet on cobbled walk

& the light of the night, the envelope of earth

sounds, each entangled as lichen symbiotes, as quiet

as steady as whoever’s heart is moving this blood

motion of sesshin a channeled Yellow River or

an Amazon of cultivation on the banks of the known

or any great floodplain of consciousness, one bowl

one robe, no socks, nothing but a formulation

striving to work itself clear of its casing

as if a wind were tethered to a spring of stars

from which welled up the cosmogonic foundry, the parsnip

& the peacock, the culm of bamboo & the tongue

your tongue on that first evening, your wet palm

the darkened Zen village, children all pretending

to sleep, every ladle & spatula, each wooden fish

caught on silver hooks straight as Brancusi’s nail

about to take pearlescent flight toward home in the sun

& then, the moon of sesshin, this portal of plain nothing

our fabricated vision quest of sitting still

began to cast doubt on subjectivity at last—

confirming absolutely nothing but singularity

the black backs of monks arrayed like forest trunks

hands in shashu, heads tilted back in the dark




Poem by Qayyum Johnson

Painting by Suiko McCall. Floodplain of Consciousness, 2023. Ink on paper, digitally manipulated, 11×13″. suiko.art

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.