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Unnamed Verses


There was once a poet who labored a great deal, but finished little.

“What are those verses you have been hiding all this time?” the poet’s friend asked. “May I see some?”

“Very well, but do not bother me with questions about them.”


* * *


Who sings with the mother, yet also listens with the father, and the child in the womb?


Who asks the riddle, knowing the answer, yet hears the riddle, not knowing the same?


Who departs with the traveler, arrives with the traveler, yet remains to await the traveler’s return?


Who grieves with those who grieve while laughing with those who laugh?


Who flows with the river’s currents, yet swims with the fish that go against those currents?


Who pities the old through young eyes while pitying the young through old eyes?


Who stands with the mountain while rising with the wind, falling with the rain, and flying with the birds?


Who forgets with those who forget, yet remembers what they have forgotten?


Who shares the mystical moment with the sage while sharing the wasted moment with the fool?


Who struggles in solitude with the artist, yet experiences the artist’s work for the first time with each new beholder, and for the last time with those who have long beheld?


Who realizes, without cessation, what others only realize at times?


Who is most reverential of all?


* * *


“What does this mean?” the friend asked. “I do not understand it.”


“Nor do I.”





From The Boy Amongst the Gourds, a book presented by Perceive Publications.