Wednesday, February 03, 2016

quote unquote

Have a good look -- stop the breath, peel off the skin, and everybody ends up looking the same.  No matter how long you live, the result is not altered.  Cast off the notion that "I exist."  Entrust yourself to the windblown clouds, and do not wish to live forever.

This world
Is but
A fleeting dream
So why be alarmed
At its evanescence?

Your span of life is set and entreaties to the gods to lengthen it are to no avail.  Keep your mind fixed on the one great matter of life and death.  Life ends in death, that's the way things are.

--ikkyu 'poem with skeletons' [barbaric vast & wild: a gathering of outside and subterranean poetry from origins to present ed. by jerome rothenberg & john bloomberg-rissman; black widow press, 2015]


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