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A TAOIST AND ZEN POETRY MAGAZINE

ISSUE TWO AUTUMN/WINTER 2016


Hello dear reader, Welcome to the second edition of Cloud Wanderer. In this Autumn and Winter issue we have some stunning poetry to read, so get yourself comfortable with a nice cup of tea and enjoy what follows! In the Classical section we have the Book of Songs from between 2,000 and 3,000 years ago, I include my favourite poet; the twelfth century Princess Shikishi and also the poet who started my interest in Chinese poetry, Tu Fu. We begin however with the gentle tones of Ryokan for our Zen readers and I include the relatively well-known poem “The Wish of Manchán of Liath” written by an early Irish saint, you will understand how it fits here as soon as you read it. Take a leisurely stroll through the wonders of Li Po, Jakushitsu Genko, Hsuan Chueh, Shih-Te and Chia Tao and visit mountains, pine forests and tumbling rivers! For the Contemporary writers I introduce lots of new work, there are twelve poets in all including the writing of Hsu Yun and Seung Sahn who are sadly no longer alive, which brings me to the point of what do I class as “contemporary”? Answer: anyone writing poetry in the 20 th and 21st Centuries. I finish with some Zen and Taoist scripture for you to munch a biscuit or two over. Biographies for all are at the back. If anyone can tell me who the cover artist is, I will do a feature on him or her in the next issue (the artist I mean) as I have mislaid the information but think the picture is too good to not include here. So I hope you enjoy this issue and find new and interesting writers. Best wishes, Heath Thompson


CLASSICAL POETRY


Ryokan (1758-1831)

In this world if there were one of a like mind – we could spend the night talking in my little hut! Painting of Ryokan by Koshi No Sengai

As the snow engulfs my hut at dusk my heart, too, is completely consumed.

Wild peonies now at their peak in glorious full bloom: too precious to pick, too precious not to pick.


Ryokan continued‌

O lonely pine! I’d gladly give you my straw hat and thatched coat to ward off the rain.

What is this life of mine? Rambling on, I entrust myself to fate. Sometimes laughter, sometimes tears. Neither a layman nor a monk. An early spring rain drizzles on and on. But the plum blossoms have yet to brighten things up. All morning I sit by the hearth, no one to talk to. I search for my copybook and then brush a few poems.


TU FU (712-770 CE)

MORNING RAIN A slight rain comes, bathed in dawn light. I hear it among treetop leaves before mist arrives. Soon it sprinkles the soil and, windblown, follows clouds away. Deepened colours grace thatch homes for a moment. Flocks and herds of things wild glisten faintly. Then the scent of musk opens across half a mountain – and lingers on past noon.

DEEP WINTER Heaven’s design blossoms and leafs out, stone roots bind rivers and streams: clouds mirroring glimmers of dawn shadow, each cold current traces its scar. Yang Chu’s tears come easily here. Ch’u Yuan’s wandering soul cannot be summoned. As wind and billowing waves load the teetering dusk, we abandon oars for a night in whose home?


TU FU continued…

NIGHT The crescent moon lulls in clear night. Half-way into sleep, lamp-wicks char. Deer wander, uneasy among howling peaks, and falling leaves startle cicadas. For a moment, I remember the east coast: mince treats, a boat out in falling snow… tribal songs rifle the stars. Here, at the edge of Heaven, I inhabit my absence.

GONE DEAF Grown old as Ho Kuan Tzu, a hermit lamenting this world, like Lu P’i Weng, how long before my sight also dims away? For over a month now, deaf as dragons: no autumn tears follow a gibbon’s cry, and no old-age grief a sparrow’s chitter. Mountain yellows fall. Startled, I call out to my son Are there northern winds?


CHIA TAO (799-843 CE)

AT THE RETREAT OF MONK CHU-KU

The path to the meditation hall is steep and perilous; I look back to view the upper watershed. A woodcutter’s trail links all the peaks; a boulder-choked creek flows through bamboo. In deep woods, the snow still lingers; in foothills, gibbons have not yet cried. Desiring to part from the bitterness in the world, I seek one word from the Master.


CHIA TAO continued…

FOR A BUDDHIST MONK

In a tangle of mountains, in autumn trees, a cave – hidden within, a magic dragon pearl. Poplar and cassia overlook a blue sea; rare fragrances waft from a stone pagoda. A monk since youth, you still have no white hair; you enter upon meditation, in a frost-streaked robe. Here there is no talk of the world’s affairs – those matters that make wild the hearts of men.


CHIA TAO continued…

SEEKING BUT NOT FINDING THE RECLUSE

Under pines I ask the boy; he says: “My master’s gone to gather herbs. I only know he’s on this mountain, but the clouds are too deep to know where.”


SHIH-TE Pickup (circa 8th CE)

The wine of wisdom is cold drinking it makes men sober where I live on Tientai fools are hard to find I prefer caves and gorges I don’t keep up with the times free from sorrow and worry free from shame and glory

Buddhas leave behind sutras because people are hard to change not just fools and scholars everyone’s mind is framed their karma high as a mountain they don’t know enough to fear much less to reconsider the deceits they harbour night and day


SHIH-TE Pickup, Continued…

The Buddha forsook the joys of rank because he pitied fools vowing to suffer no rebirth he performed the noblest deeds those who leave home nowadays are mostly out of work hard-pressed to earn a living they sneak inside of temples

Who knows how to catch rats doesn’t need five white cats and who discovers what’s real doesn’t need a brocade bag a pearl fits in a burlap sack Buddhahood rest under thatch all you people attached to form use your minds to no avail

Translator Red Pine says that “when they travel, either to the marketplace or on a pilgrimage, monks and nuns carry a shoulder bag embroidered with sacred symbols or the name of their home temple.”


Wu Cailuan by Hua Sanchuan


ST MANCHĂ N OF LIATH (Irish Celtic) died 663CE

THE WISH OF MANCHĂ N OF LIATH (now Lemeanaghan) I wish, O Son of the living God, O ancient, eternal King, For a hidden little hut in the wilderness that it may be my dwelling. An all-grey lithe little lark to be by its side, A clear pool to wash away sins through the grace of the Holy Spirit, Quite near, a beautiful wood around it on every side, To nurse many-voiced birds, hiding it with its shelter. A southern aspect for warmth, a little brook across its floor, A choice land with many gracious gifts such as be good for every plant. A few men of sense we will tell their number Humble and obedient, to pray to the King : Four times three, three times four, fit for every need, Twice six in the church, both north and south: Six pairs besides myself Praying for ever the King who makes the sun shine. A pleasant church and with the linen altar-cloth, a dwelling for God from Heaven; Then, shining candles above the pure white Scriptures. One house for all to go to for the care of the body, Without ribaldry, without boasting, without thought of evil. This is the husbandry I would take, I would choose, and will not hide it: Fragrant leek, hens, salmon, trout, bees. Raiment and food enough for me from the King of fair fame, And I to be sitting for a while praying God in every place. The strange numbers in the middle of this poem refer to a Choir of twelve monks to sing the Divine Office. A quantity of a dozen monastics would have been normal at the time.


THE BOOK OF SONGS, Anonymous, (Chou Dynasty) 1112-249 BCE

THE WHITE PONY Pure is the white pony, feeding on the young shoots in my stack-yard. Keep him hobbled, keep him bridled, let him stay through all mornings. So may my lover here take his ease. Pure is the white pony, feeding on the bean-sprouts in my stack-yard. Keep him hobbled, keep him bridled, let him stray through all evenings. So may my lover here have his peace. Pure is the white pony who comes to me so swiftly, like a duke, like a marquis, let us enjoy ourselves completely, let us prolong our love-making, let us take our ease.

While neither Taoist nor Zen, I choose to share these Chinese poems to highlight the somewhat radical change in style of the later (now) classical Taoist and Zen writers included here. These older poems remind me more of the medieval writings of European poets that often told tales of knights and adventure.


THE BOOK OF SONGS, Anonymous, (Chou Dynasty) 1112-249 BCE

THE GREEN COAT Heiho, my coat is green, green coat with yellow lining. O, the grief of my heart, will it never cease? Heiho, my coat is green, green coat with yellow-green skirt. O, the grief of my heart, will it never cease? Heiho, the green threads, how could I have sewn them. Thinking of how he loved me, I will not hold it against him. Heiho, the coarse cloth, the cold winds blow through it. Thinking of the way he loved me, how he held me to his heart.

Translator Robert Payne believed the song to be of an abandoned concubine, until recent times concubines wore green.


THE BOOK OF SONGS, Anonymous, (Chou Dynasty) 1112-249 BCE

THE GREEN THISTLES Thick grow the green thistles. I cannot fill my shallow basket. I sigh for my lover, and lay the basket on the road. I climb the rocky cliffs, my horse is weary. I pour wine from the bronze ewer, but still my heart pains me. I climb the high cliffs, my horse dribbles yellow foam. I pour out wine from the horn-cup, still my heart is overladen. I climb the high uplands, on a lame broken-down nag. My lover is dying. How can I cease sobbing?

It is said that Confucius may have compiled The Book of Songs as it is known that he read them and encouraged his son Po Yu to read them.


HSUAN-CHUEH (665-713)

FROM THE SONG OF EXPERIENCING THE TAO 2. He meditates when walking and when sitting. Silent, speaking, moving, resting, his body is at peace. In the face of pointed swords he remains eternally calm. Many kalpas ago our Master met Dipamkara, but already he was the “patient sufferer”.

4. They walk alone, and yet they are together. Along the road to Nirvana, the Perfect Ones with antique minds, pure-hearted, high-spirited, with sunken cheek-bones, despised by the common people.

6. Wander the streams and oceans, cross mountains and rivers search for the Way, call upon Masters, desire to enter the Zen. No sooner have you come to Ts’ao-his, you will know that neither birth nor death have any meaning.


LI PO (701?-762)

CONVERSATION IN THE MOUNTAINS If you were to ask me why I dwell among green mountains, I shall laugh silently; my soul is serene. The peach-blossom follows the moving water, There is another heaven and earth beyond the world of men.

A GIRL OF YUEH The waters of Mirror Lake are white like the moon, this girl in the stream of Yeh glitters like snow, her new dress dapples the waves, an endless bright shining‌

TO TU FU On the Mountain of Boiled Rice I met Tu Fu, wearing a bamboo hat in the hot midday; pray, how is it that you have grown so thin? Is it because you suffer from poetry?


LI PO (701?-762)

AMUSING MYSELF With wine I did not notice the approach of evening, all my clothes were covered in fallen petals. Drunken I arose, and paced the stream by moonlight. I saw few people or returning birds.

SPRING DAWN I slept in spring not conscious of the dawn, but heard the gay birds chattering all around. I remember, there was a storm at night. Pray how many blossoms have fallen down?


PRINCESS SHIKISHI (?-1201)

AUTUMN BECOMING WINTER

39 Winds cold, leaves are cleared from trees night by night, baring the garden to the moon's light.

40 In the shower everywhere red leaves fell; now hailstones drop on garden leaves.

41 If you haven't seen it on the ice of this well, you must insist the moon is of autumn alone.


PRINCESS SHIKISHI (?-1201), continued…

WINTER BECOMING SPRING

1 In spring too what first stands out — Mount Otowa — from the snow at its peak the rays of the sun appear.

2 Here deep in the hills, my pine door would never know that springtime had come — but for a broken trickle of jewels of melted snow.

3 Though warblers have not called, in the sound of cascades pouring down rocks spring is heard.


Sumi-e, Kyoto Shijo School, early Tokygawa era


JAKUSHITSU GENKO (1290 - 1367)

SITTING IN THE MOUNTAINS

Rock slab seat legs folded sitting alone Not loathing noise not savoring silence The carefree clouds concur

A VISIT TO HATTOJI TEMPLE

Lone mountain dominating three provinces white clouds cover a green peak summit soaring to great heights old temple nearly a thousand years a monk meditates alone in a moonlit hall a monkey cries in the mist in an old tree saying to worldly folk: "Come here; free yourselves of karmic dust.“


JAKUSHITSU GENKO (1290 - 1367)

GATHERING TEA

To the branch's edge and the leaf's under surface be most attentive Its pervasive aroma envelopes people far away The realms of form and function can't contain it Spring leaks profusely through the basket.

RAIN IN AUTUMN Look at the moon before you point or speak Illuminating the sky an unstained round light If your face doesn't possess the monk's discerning eye You become blinded by evening rains of autumn


CONTEMPORARY POETRY


HSU YUN (Empty Cloud, 1840? – 1959)

MIRROR POND ON MOUNT TAIBO IN SHANXI The water and my mind have both settled down Into perfect stillness. Sun and moon shine bright in it. At night I see in the surface The enormous face of my old familiar moon. I don't think you've ever met the source of this reflection. All shrillness fades into the sound of silence. But now and then a puff of mist floats across the mirror. It confuses me a little But not enough to make me forget to forget my cares.

AFTER THE RAIN, CLIMBING A TALL BUILDING TO VIEW THE MOUNTAINS It was just clearing after the rain of the night before Mossy traces were on the steps. I didn't climb the building thinking about writing a poem. This poet's fest doesn't need any wine warming. Just open the window, the mountain range will come in. Before the eye, the village, drenched in smoke, Will materialize. I write now and see it as I saw it then The mountains and the sea Viewing it in detail Like a painted picture.


SEUNG SAHN (1927-2004) Good and evil have no self nature; holy and unholy are empty names; of the door is the land of stillness and quiet; spring comes, grass grows by itself.

Autumn leaves fall by the cold wind. It is right or wrong? Here is a scripture which is not made of paper and no letters are in it. But it always sends forth rays thus illuminating the darkness. Then mountain is mountain; river is river; red is red; white is white; everything is clear, as it is. Two mud cows together sumo wrestling pull each other around, around, around, and into the ocean. Which is the winner? Which is the loser? No news.


YU JINGHAI

the mind is an ocean and the world it sees is a sea - all things are fragments of its own being. a hundred thousand days can’t wait to make it true and neither can you nor can I in the end.

A Taoist Sage by Jane Adams

in the beginning nothing was. and it is somewhat like that even now – just a clear space open and true where we can only be and there is nothing else to do and nothing else to know


ELLA MAY

Its ok life just started but it never begun, life is not on hold or lost it is here this this peace surrounding and inside everything Know this that you are not real as separate but only as one seeing is not believing touching hearts meeting light in all things free and burning forever as peace You go seeking in every room for a home but you do not realise there is a house.


JACOB NEWELL (Gu Shen Yu)

ESSENCE OF DAO DE

The essence of Dao Is to remain clear and pure And to flow with circumstances Without hindrance The essence of De Is to let the natural process unfold Remaining in non-action As Dao cultivates itself

NOT-TWO PLACE

Sun rises – Suddenly there are shadows Mutually arising – Where is the not-two place?


JACOB NEWELL (Gu Shen Yu), continued‌

EMPTINESS

Emptiness is utterly mysterious What could I possibly say? Light and dark are joined at the root

The Empty Stillness of Winter In the empty stillness of winter All things return to the source Nothing arising! Nothing arising!

PU-ER

Opening into boundless light Gazing deeply Into a steaming hot cup of pu-er tea I see my own eye staring back at me Who are you? Who are you?


DOUWE JAN

Mist changes Seasons change light changes monk changes no moment the same still constant within change. Muscles of the lips move. Smile is never static. Back hurts a bit. Pain moves away, pain comes back. It slowly becomes night while it slowly becomes day.. It slowly becomes day while it slowly becomes Mine that last sentence. .. does the sunrise becomes me or mine. . all the things I do in this space of earth reflect towards who I am . and who I become. but I do not own the things.. so the last sentence has to be me. even though I am me I am not mine. as much as I am not the thing around me. the things I own I mean. the thing I mined with my mind. do you mind? I am the things around me but they are not mine nature is that I am the things around me but they are not mine. Culture is all that is mined nature is all that is me meet


DOUWE JAN, continued…

Douwe’s Bio is worth it’s own page… Love between and on a bed (probably) Sperm egg. Mix Dna to cells Then Birth Marknesse, Nederland, 1986, 24 of August Name given Douwe Jan. Name that came with the dad: Schrale Growth love, joy Fast forward School strange… Time moves slowly between walls And faster at home. Still love to learn...Still stuck in words…Still want to learn. Museums > school Different so many times isolation. self But also always friends, and ears for poetry. Which led more art more creativity. Then to a study in cultural heritage Small room big town. Meet strangers Becomes a Psychonaut. Dreams in woods, and at lakes. Want to put information back in to the world. Gets into gps media routes. Deep frustration with computers. Love hate technology. Start a Company, my own breakdown, And build up and breakdown. No longer aiming for the smartphone. But for the loving ears, and hearts. To grow show slow and wow Lets GO!


JEFF MILES (Fa Hsing)

I haven't a flute to play, and the tattered strings of my robe won't carry a tune, but the warm whistle of the kettle and the patter of the falling rain are music enough for me...

I sat with the mountain and ran with the stream and I called it "Zen". They told me that I couldn't do this, that I had to find a teacher Who could give me the true teaching. So I found a teacher, And he took my money and said: "Sit like a mountain, And flow like a stream." Some days - The fog lifts quickly, and the Way becomes clear. Other days - only the path underfoot is visible, and the only way to see the next step... is to take it.


JEFF MILES (Fa Hsing), continued‌

Pouring the tea, I gaze into the cup And see myself. Drinking the tea, I vanish! I pour another cup, and find myself again. Picture supplied by Fa Hsing

Many clouds float high overhead; They hide the sun and stars. But this white cloud drifts amongst us And shares the light with all.

Cold rain tapping the roof of the house; Hot tea warming the roof of my mouth; Nothing else to do until my friend arrives... Perfect.

As the winter snow Erases the ground And the spring fog Makes the sky vanish So does this cup of tea Dissolve my mind.


MAGNUS RIERA

in this hand everything in this hand nothing this is what the hand holds when the mind is still you expand beyond yourself to yourself

sit here just sit here this simple holds everything


LAURA DEMELZA BOSMA & Shh DRAGON (Stephen Watson) She: Again my thoughts were beautiful but nature knew better and took me over. Wherever I go her fingers stretch out in branches, grass blades and thorns of brambles. I feel how much she wants to take me into her, hold me tight, surround me, until I turn into her precious soil. But she waits. She is the predator with a soul who knows when it is time for which prey. Will my soul fly up or shall my body and its dreams just turn into soil completely? I strangely enough find comfort in the thought to stretch out my fingers in branches, grass blades, thorns and a few seasons of blackberries. He: The Tao surrounds, without invitation. The Void suffuses, without demand. The poet prattles, without audience


LAURA DEMELZA BOSMA & Shh DRAGON (Stephen Watson), continued‌ She: Still, I keep on writing invitations. I like the sound of the pen on the paper. Months later their message does not make sense anymore. I hang them on my fridge. Some letters look like birds. Becoming things, words lose their meaning. Watch the heart-blood clouds go by. He: Sends no words. But does he...send no word? Every pen etches the page, and ink coagulates. But the sound of a letter read is found far from ear Some letters are the flocking sky. Becoming dreams, words lose their meaning. The song of reply lives in the sky. Clouds whisper by. She: Without audience: nature. I wade my foot through your water, nature White and elegant it is. Is it a fish? I find what I miss in myself when I first disconnect a bit. I am the fish. I am the waving of the water where she slips through like a comma, nature, comma, nature. Song. Swan. Dot. Dot. Reply. The Tao sets us free in poetry.


DON McDOUGLE

The man in whom Tao Acts without impediment Does not bother with his own interests And does not despise Others who do. He does not struggle to make money And does not make a virtue of poverty. He goes his way Without relying on others And does not pride himself On walking alone. While he does not follow the crowd He won’t complain of those who do. Rank and reward Make no appeal to him; Disgrace and shame Do not deter him. He is not always looking For right and wrong Always deciding “Yes” or “No”.


HEATH R THOMPSON

OBSERVING THE TAO A tree is the Tao expressed as a tree a cloud is the Tao manifest as a cloud when one observes the Tao and not its expressions this and that appears as One stillness and movement are seen as a single action sound and quietude known to be the same Silence you and not-you have no distinction. When all appearances lose their form and every outcome has no result a gentle peace settles within.

ENDLESS BLUE SKY To the wanderer hazy mountains rise majestically into endless blue sky forest birdsong weaves its way sweetly through fragrant pine and clifftop waterfalls cascade through glittering folds of rainbow-light.

All came naturally into being without concern or plans of an outcome. You too are like this. Beautiful.


HEATH R THOMPSON, continued…

SIMPLE LIVING Wake, eat a little don’t bother thinking take some light naps enjoy rain sun flowers don’t think about bothering eat a little sleep.

COLOURLESS COLOUR Blue fish in blue water clear moon in clear sky what appears has no background foreground

SO YOU PRACTISE RIVER OF LIFE So you practise Taoism? No not really. Oh, what is your religion then? Wild-garlic nettles bluebells.

Carried along by the river of life what does it all mean? Something, nothing, I don’t know… might as well lie back take it easy.


SCRIPTURE


TSONG YEONG’S COMPLETE REALITY COLLECTION (excerpt) The Perfected Man sighing, lamented saying, 'The marvelous principle of long life, people share. The woods of the Immortals; who is not able to seek [them]? There are those who are lazy and do not accomplish [Immortalhood]. They are visible and they are very numerous. There are those who are diligent and have results. They hide [themselves] and are very few in number. People regard what they see much of as believable, and regard what they do not see as doubtful. Eventually, because matters of Immortalhood are not clearly visible, they regard them as something which cannot be hoped for. Let us try to examine this with the principles of things. Metal ore which is refined can be made into iron. Bronze which undergoes projection can be made into gold. A fish jumps over [Mt.]Leoy-Leong and becomes a dragon. A pheasant enters the water and becomes a shen bivalve. Ice which melts easily can survive the summer if you store it. Grass which withers easily can survive the winter if it is covered. If people are able to cut off what they cherish and get rid of their covetousness, preserve the female and embrace the One, make their minds travel to serenity and combine their Energy with empty nothingness, they will also be able to rise high, reach far, climb the scenery, ascend to vacuity, wander freely, ride and control enemy winds, go about flying, respond to the staffs of the Perfected [Men], mount a whale and travel to Ts'ang-hai, mount a phoenix and ascend the blue darkness, transform after 1000 years like the cranes of Liao-tung (southern part of Liao-ning Province), and gaze at the sunrise like the wild ducks of She District (in Honan). With those like Ngorn-Khake and Hseen-Moon and those like Hung Ya who penetratingly perceive the profound, [they will] line up with the ranks of the Immortals. It is not difficult. Those who have acquired the Tao and lightly risen [to Immortalhood] in past and present cannot be sufficiently counted


HUAINANZI Sages respond to being by nonbeing, unfailingly finding out the inner pattern; they receive fullness by emptiness, unfailingly finding out the measure. They live out their lives with calm joy and empty tranquillity. Therefore they are not too distant from anything and not too close to anything. What sages learn is to return to their nature to the beginning and let the mind travel freely in openness. What developed people learn is to link their nature to vast emptiness and become aware of the silent infinite. The learning of ordinary worldlings is otherwise. They grasp at virtues and constrict their nature, inwardly worrying about their physical organs while outwardly belabouring their eyes and ears. Sages send the spirit to the storehouse of awareness and return to the beginning of myriad things. They look at the formless, listen to the soundless. In the midst of profound darkness, they alone see light; in the midst of silent vastness, they alone have illumination.


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS WITH CHAN MASTER HUANG PO (9TH C CE) Q: At this very moment, all sorts of erroneous thoughts are constantly flowing through our minds. How can you speak of our having none? A: Error has no substance; it is entirely the product of your own thinking. If you know that Mind is the Buddha and that Mind is fundamentally without error, whenever thoughts arise, you will be fully convinced that THEY are responsible for errors. If you could prevent all conceptual movements of thought and still your thinking-processes, naturally there would be no error left in you. Therefore is it said: “When thoughts arise, then do all things arise. When thoughts vanish, then do all things vanish.� Q: If your own Mind is the Buddha, how did Bodhidharma transmit his doctrine when he came from India? A: When he came from India, he transmitted only Mind-Buddha. He just pointed to the truth that the minds of all of you have from the very first been identical with the Buddha, and in now way separate from each other. That is why we call him our Patriarch. Whoever has an instant understanding of this truth suddenly transcends the whole hierarchy of saints and adepts belonging to any of the Three Vehicles. You have always been one with the Buddha, so do not pretend you can ATTAIN to this oneness by various practices (Note: We cannot BECOME what we have always been; we can only become intuitively aware of our original state, previously hidden from us by clouds of maya).


SPIRITUAL STATUTES OF THE GREAT HIGH LORD LAO (Precepts from the Venerable Scripture on the Dao and Inner Power) Practise non-action. Practise softness and weakness. Practise guarding the feminine. Do not initiate actions These are the highest three practices. Practise being nameless. Practise clarity and stillness. Practise being adept. These are the middle three practices Practise being desireless. Practise knowing how to stop and be content. Practise yielding and withdrawing. These are the lower three practices.


BOOK FOCUS A short excerpt from one of my favourite books THE MYSTERY OF LONGEVITY by Liu Zhengcai, Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, Masanobu Fukuoka, Other India Press, 1996

About this book: the author investigates data about centenarians from China’s third national consensus (1982) and sums up the experiences, habits and practices of modern centenarians with those throughout the ages. A picture emerges of a certain lifestyle that helps attain longevity. He considers, environment, lifestyle, daily regime, physical exercise, use of the brain and diet, but also family harmony, wealth, and urban verses rural China. “She (Grandma Pei) began growing flowers in her thirties after her husband’s death, even when she did laundry for others to earn a living and support her three children. It is flowers that have given her consolation, happiness and courage to survive hardships. She has been tending flowers for the past seven decades. As soon as she hears of a beautiful flower she will go great distances to see or acquire it. When she was 103 years old she carried a pot of flowers home from about three kilometres away.” “Bangshen township is especially noted as a home of longevity with up to 23 centenarians among its 20,000 inhabitants…its mountains range from 1,000 to 1,500m with most living half-way up or higher. Houses on the mountains are multi-layered buildings made of bamboo and wood with good ventilation. People live upstairs to avoid ground-level humidity. Many fruit and other trees and small vegetable gardens are laid out around the houses. The environment is quiet, secluded, without air or noise pollution…Some 10,000 shade trees and vast expanses of fruit trees have all been planted by the villagers themselves.”


BOOK FOCUS, continued A short excerpt from one of my favourite books THE MYSTERY OF LONGEVITY by Liu Zhengcai, Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, Masanobu Fukuoka, Other India Press, 1996

“Eight out of ten rural centenarians (Sichuan Province) are women who spin and weave, raise pigs, cook, grow vegetables and water the fields. Such work does not cause over-fatigue but keeps the body’s vitality.” “Tree-thick zones contain 50% less dust than non-forest zones…Places with green tree shade have plenty of negative ions in the air. Investigations show many times more air negative ions in forests than in central cities. Inhaling such negative ions can refresh the brain and invigorate the spirit. Negative ion is also called the ‘air vitamin’ and ‘longevity element in the air’. It has the function of tranquillizing the mind, alleviating pain, relieving cough and spasms and facilitating urination. Elderly people can stroll and practise Tai Chi Chuan in the woods to fight chronic ailments. It is now called ‘forest therapy’” “All Chinese city centenarians have good hygienic habits. They consistently rinse mouths; brush teeth and frequently cut their fingernails; change their linen, quilts and bed sheets, and wash their feet before bed-time each day. Most sweep their courtyards and keep their rooms clean and tidy. Grandma Tang Shengyun of Chengdu, 101 years old, sweeps her courtyard three times a day and keeps her room bright and clean without a speck of dust. Grandma Ying of Guangzhou, 107 years old, takes a sponge bath in warm water three times a day, lasting 40 minutes each time.” “Chen Bingqing, a 103 year old woman says one should not eat a lot of food. 60% of full is enough. This conforms to the ancient theory that one who eats little lives long.”


Kindle Books by Yu Jinghai.

Available here: The Still Silent World, 31 Pages. Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Still-Silent-World-Poems-Tao-ebook/dp/B00FI17N NS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1473423671&sr=1-1&keywords=yu+jingh ai#nav-subnav

A Scatter of Light in the Summer Sky, 32 Pages. Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Scatter-Light-Summer-Sky-Poems-ebook/dp/B00EL WCRUE/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1473423671&sr=1-3&keywords=yu+ inghai#nav-subnav The Voice of the Sea, 39 Pages. https://www.amazon.com/Voice-Sea-Poems-Tao-ebook/dp/B00E228NRO/ref=s r_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1473423671&sr=1-4&keywords=yu+jinghai#navsubnav


Poetry Book by Jabob Newell (Gu Shen Yu)

Since ancient times, Daoists have used poetry and other art forms to express mystical experience, convey teaching, and transmit energy. A Daoist poem arises naturally out of the stillness of an empty mind, like fresh grasses in the springtime. Embracing both wuji (the unchanging absolute) and taiji (the dynamic polar world), a Daoist poem expresses the poet’s encounter with Dao (the way). In this collection, an American Daoist priest shares poetry inspired by his study of Daoist scripture and practice of Zuowang meditation (sitting forgetting).

156 Pages. Available here: eBook (PDF): http://www.lulu.com/shop/gu-shen-yu/these-daoist-bones/ebook/product-17 382632.html


Poetry Book by Heath R Thompson

From the back cover: Inspired by the ancient wisdom of the Taoist tradition and wandering the rugged, majestic landscape of alpine mountains, Thompson creates a wonderful sense of place through a deeply sensitive spiritual voice that celebrates simplicity, gentleness and the natural grace inherent within us all; that of the Sage. His poems touch on a range of human experiences; of joy, sadness, love, enlightenment and delusion. Through the lens of modern day living he helps us to recognise an undisturbed Presence whose quiet light draws no attention to itself but is always available to us. The reader may also be delighted to discover the unassuming artwork of Laura Demelza Bosma, whose drawings bring a warmth and sensitivity as they work in harmony with the poems here. 232 Pages. Available here: Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Taoist-Poetry-Weaves-Through-Clouds-ebook/dp/ B01HCMB0L6 Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Taoist-Poetry-Weaves-Through-Clouds/dp/099437


Resources, poetry: A QUIET ROOM: Poetry of Zen Master Jakushitsu Tuttle Publishing; 1st edition (April 2000) BONE OF SPACE, Poems by Zen Master Seung Sahn, Primary Point Press, Kwan Um School of Zen, Rhode Island, USA, (1992) DEWDROPS ON A LOTUS LEAF, Zen Poems of Ryokan translated by John Stevens, Shambala Publications. 1993 HSUAN-CHUEH in an anthology of Chinese poetry from the earliest times to the present day newly translated, by Robert Payne, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, London. 1949. LI PO in an anthology of Chinese poetry from the earliest times to the present day newly translated, by Robert Payne, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, London. 1949. SAINT MANCHÁN OF LIATH, The wish of Manchán of Liath. http://holycelticchurch.weebly.com/celtic--benedictine.html SELECTED POEMS OF CHIA TAO, When I find you again it will be in the mountains. Translated by Mike O’Connor, Wisdom Publications, 2000. STRING OF BEADS: Complete Poems of Princess Shikishi, by Hiroaki Sato, Shaps Library of Translations, University of Hawaii Pr (1993). THE BOOK OF SONGS, in The White Pony; an anthology of Chinese poetry from the earliest times to the present day newly translated, by Robert Payne, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, London. 1949. THE COLLECTED SONGS OF COLD MOUNTAIN, Translated by Red Pine, Copper Canyon Press. 2000. THE SELECTED POEMS OF TU FU Translated by David Hinton, Anvil Press Poetry, 1990. THE SONG OF EXPERIENCING THE TAO, in The White Pony; an anthology of Chinese poetry from the earliest times to the present day newly translated, by Robert Payne, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, London. 1949.


Resources, scripture: SCRIPTURAL STATUTES OF LORD LAO, by Komjathy, L., Wandering Cloud Press (2003) and The Yuen Yuen Institute, Hong Kong (2008). THE HUAINANZI, Lui An, King of Huainan, translated by Major et al. Columbia University Press, New York (2012). THE ZEN TEACHING OF HUANG PO, On the Transmission of the Mind, translate by John Blofeld, Grove Press, New York, (1958). TSON YEONG’S COMPLETE REALITY COLLECTION, http://www.taoistresource.net/1176.html website accessed 1st September 2016.


Biographies of Classical Poets Chia Tao was a Zen monk who became a poet during China’s T’ang Dynasty, he recorded the lives of the sages, masters, immortals and hermits he met on his travels. Hsuan-Chueh, also known as Master Chen-chio, Master Yung Chia and Yoka Genkaku, lived in the Yung Chia region of southern Che Chian Province in China. He was a scholar and a monk and is considered one of the greatest and most gifted teachers of Zen. Jakushitsu Genko was a Japanese Rinzai master, poet, flute player, and first abbot of Eigen-ji (constructed solely for him to teach Zen). His poetry is considered to be among the finest of Zen poetry. He traveled to China and studied Chan with masters of the Linji school from 1320 to 1326, then returned to Japan and lived for many years as a hermit. It was only toward the end of his life that he decided to teach Zen to others. Li Po is one of China’s favourite classical poets, often viewed as a Taoist but experts believe he would not have accepted that description. According to translator Robert Payne, he was a good swordsman, an excellent musician and connoisseur of good wines but it is doubtful those things meant much to him. He was arrested three times and sentenced to death once however he continued as a poet, often throwing his poems into a stream and watching them sail away. Princess Shikishi was a Japanese classical poet, who lived during the late Heian and early Kamakura periods. She was the third daughter of Emperor Go-Shirakawa (1127–1192, reigned 1155–1158). In 1159, Shikishi, who did not marry, went into service at the Kamo Shrine in Kyoto. She left the shrine after some time, and in her later years became a Buddhist nun.


Biographies of Classical Poets Ryokan was a Japanese recluse-poet and much loved for his simple charming words. He loved a nun called Teishin and the poems between them can be seen in the collection Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf along with more of Koshi No Sengai’s paintings – see Resources page for details. Saint Manchán of Liath is the name of an early Irish saint, patron of Liath Mancháin, now Lemanaghan, in County Offaly. The most reliable genealogy makes him a son of Sillán son of Conall, who is said be a descendant of Rudraige Mór of Ulster, and names his mother Mella. Shih-Te was a colleague of Han Shan (Cold Mountain) and Feng-kan (Big Stick) who each wrote poetry in China’s Tentai Mountains. Tu Fu. According to translator David Hinton, Tu Fu is recognised as one of China’s greatest classical pots, radically altering the poetry of the High Tang period, making innovations in language and structure. As is often the way with Tu Fu’s work drew little attention in his lifetime. He died quiet the poor wandering poet.


Biographies of Contemporary Poets Don McDougle. Don's Journey to Awakening has taken him to several continents and he is now in Costa Rica. You can find him on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/don.mcdougle Douwe Jan Made a poem out of his biography which is on a separate page after his main poem. Ella May Is a speaker of Non-duality, she points to the fact that there is no self and shines a light on the illusions of separation. http://www.theseeingisfree.com/ Heath Thompson has over 200 poems published in his new book Taoist Poetry: The Path That Weaves Through Clouds. He is the founder and editor of Cloud Wanderer and a long time lover of Chinese and Japanese Taoist and Zen poetry. His website is www.taoistpoetry.com Hsu Yun was a renowned Chinese-born Chan Buddhist master and one of the most influential Buddhist teachers of the 19th and 20th centuries. You can read more about him and his poetry here: http://www.eyeofchan.org/special-features/poetry-of-empty-cloud.html Jane Adams painted the picture of a Taoist Sage on Yu Jinghai’s page. She selfpublishes her poetry and art, from home. For ten years, she edited and produced the Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK Journal, Self Enquiry. Jane began drawing, painting and writing at five years old, worked as a portraitist later on, and ploughed her talents into an extensive study of the Ageless Wisdom, east and west. More of her work can be seen here: https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com


Biographies of Contemporary Poets Jacob Newell (Gu Shen Yu) is a Daoist (Taoist) Priest who published a collection of poetry called These Daoist Bones in 2011. He teaches Daoism at the Old Oak School of Dao in Santa Rosa, California. http://www.oldoakdao.org/ Jeff Miles (Fa Hsing ( ćł• čĄŒ ) is a Zen teacher in the tradition of Zen Master Hsu Yun. A lover of nature and a Chajin (tea person), his poetry has been greatly inspired and influenced by the works of the hermits, sages, and mystics of China. You can see more of his work and teachings on Facebook and at www.mountainwayzen.net Laura Demelza Bosma is an award winning Dutch poet and artist, she has a very entertaining and thoughtful blog which you can find here: www.laurademelzabosma.com Magnus Riera born 1966 in Sweden. You can catch up with his writing at www.thissinglestep.com Seung Sahn born Duk-In Lee, was a Korean Seon master of the Jogye Order and founder of the international Kwan Um School of Zen. He was the seventyeighth Patriarch in his lineage. Refer to Resources page for links. Stephen Watson (Shh Dragon) As a student of the Tao for some thirty-five years, Stephen Watson, believes that the practice of poetry is the practice of the heart's relation to Other. It is only by more sincerely, more deeply relating to Other that we might draw close enough, Self and Other, to remember that otherness is itself the illusion. Poetry is the language of love's re-union. Stephen can be found on www.Facebook.com/ShhDragon or seek him out at his Killingworth, CT studio: www.SomedayFarm.net Yu Jinghai has written several Taoist poetry books, the poems shown here are from his 2013 book The Still, Silent World, which can be found on Amazon


CONTACT DETAILS for Submissions For Submissions of Taoist and Zen style poetry, or possible stories, artwork and photos please get in touch on the email below. Please include 3-6 poems of similar length to those published in this issue. For very short poems please send up to 10. So that I don’t overlook your message please add the word SUBMISSION in the heading. I respond pretty quickly and try to give feedback to your work, I am however very particular about what I want, so please do not be insulted if I do not accept. Sadly, work cannot be paid for as this is a free magazine. Spring/Summer 2017 edition available from 21st March. DEADLINE FOR NEXT ISSUE – 21st February 2017 submissions@taoistpoetry.com


THE SRING AND SUMMER ISSUE WILL BE PUBLIHSED BY MARCH 21 ST. SEE YOU THEN

CLOUD WANDERER issue two Autumn Winter 2016  

Second edition of the Taoist and Zen Poetry magazine featuring classical and contemporary writers, rare scripture and book spotlight.

CLOUD WANDERER issue two Autumn Winter 2016  

Second edition of the Taoist and Zen Poetry magazine featuring classical and contemporary writers, rare scripture and book spotlight.

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