The winds have died, but flowers go on falling

by Ryokan

English version by Sam Hamill
Original Language Japanese

The winds have died, but flowers go on falling;
birds call, but silence penetrates each song.

The Mystery! Unknowable, unlearnable.
The virtue of Kannon.

-- from The Poetry of Zen: (Shambhala Library), Edited by Sam Hamill / Edited by J. P. Seaton

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

I like the way this short Zen poem taps into the melancholy of autumn. That meditative ache leads us to something deeper, a quiet awareness of subtle life continuing steadily beneath the ebb and flow of outer phenomena -- The Mystery!

(And the reference to Kannon -- that's the Japanese name for Kwan Yin, the female boddhisattva of compassion, healing, and providence, a sort of mother goddess figure in some strands of Buddhism.)

Recommended Books: Ryokan

The Longing in Between: Sacred Poetry from Around the World (A Poetry Chaikhana Anthology) The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry Haiku Enlightenment: New Expanded Edition The Poetry of Zen: (Shambhala Library) Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf: Zen Poems of Ryokan
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The winds have died