July 23, 2013
Just published - Love and Rain: Poems of the Way by Barry Graham

Food on the plate,

tea in the cup -

say your thanks.

Say it to the sunlight,

say it to the rain.

Barry Graham’s second book of poetry may be read as a collection of haiku and tanka, or as one long Zen poem.

September 20, 2010
Tanka

In the convenience store
a woman counts change,
a penny at a time,
to buy a single can
of malt liquor

August 14, 2010
Tanka

The monastery cook
was chanting the Tenzo Kyokun
when a splash of water from the pan
burned the sight from his eye.
No one knows, ever.

August 8, 2010
Tanka

The light bulb burns out.
The sun will burn out.
Where did the light begin?
This body, mind and self
will last as long as they are needed.

August 3, 2010
Summer Night, Jisei

Almost ten at night, and the temperature isn’t far below a hundred degrees. Dogs barking in the neighborhood, and I think about my favorite jisei (Japanese death poem):

Where did that dog
that used to be here go?
I thought about him
once again tonight
before I went to bed.

- Shimaki Akahiko (1876-1926)

May 4, 2010
Tanka

Swish of windshield wipers
in a summer storm -
he waits for the light to change
and remembers her crying
as he left her in the hospital.

March 25, 2010
Tanka

When they say
their farewells,
he closes his eyes
and does not open them
until she is gone.

March 20, 2010
Tanka

Bird-shit lands on the Buddha statue,
or the Buddha-statue lands on the
bird-shit. Neither lands on either,
but observers holy and profane ignore
Buddha-nature in favor of story.

February 13, 2010
Tanka

She sleeps restlessly. He sleeps not at all.
Eyes closed. Heat of her breath on his face.
Bed, house, street, planet. The diameter
of the observable universe is at least
93 billion light years.

February 1, 2010
Tanka

Sunshine on pedestrian bridge -
young woman pushes 
baby in stroller,
singing to him
as she walks.

Liked posts on Tumblr: More liked posts »