Thursday, July 30, 2009

Poem for Thursday

Mu Ch'i's Persimmons
By Gary Snyder

    There is no remedy for satisfying hunger other than a painted rice cake.
                                                — Dogen, November, 1242.

On a back wall down the hall

lit by a side glass door

is the scroll of Mu Ch'i's great
sumi painting, "Persimmons"

The wind-weights hanging from the
axles hold it still.

The best in the world, I say,
of persimmons.

Perfect statement of emptiness
no other than form

the twig and the stalk still on,
the way they sell them in the
market even now.

The original's in Kyoto at a
lovely Rinzai temple where they
show it once a year

this one's a perfect copy from Benrido
I chose the mounting elements myself
with the advice of the mounter

I hang it every fall.

And now, to these overripe persimmons
from Mike and Barbara's orchard.
Napkin in hand,
I bend over the sink
suck the sweet orange goop
that's how I like it
gripping a little twig

those painted persimmons

sure cure hunger


We had very little rain but quite a bit of thunder on Wednesday, meaning that when the kids tried to go to the pool, it was closed...and the pool's lawyers have ordered the lifeguards not to let kids play ping-pong under the tent and wait it out for liability reasons, so they can't stay there during brief storms. Sigh. Since I had them at home in the early afternoon, we went over to my parents' house and watched Armageddon, which I had loaned my father, since he had never seen it. That movie never gets old.

Daniel has an A in online health class right now, meaning I may have to sit on him for the next couple of days to make sure he tracks down whatever gets uploaded rather than slacking off and playing computer games. Adam has been doing his summer Chinese homework, but each of them has a math packet and I believe they're both supposed to write up book reports, too. I hate to be reminding them about homework in the summer, but it'll be August before the week ends...eek!

Dee Dee, the miniature Sicilian donkey at Star Gazing Farm...

...and one of the horses who lives there, retired from giving rides to children, who visited with them last weekend at the Montgomery County Farm Tour.

I believe this sheep is the one named Gruff...

...whose wool was being spun by these demonstrators.

In any event, the sheep was not bothered by ducks and chickens wandering through...

...which is fortunate, because there are many living on this farm.

Those laying eggs are kept in places where the pig and goat, who would eat them, can't get at them.

The goat, Mr. Newman, is unafraid of anyone, will wander through any gate left open for him, and will try to snatch anything edible he can find.

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