Wednesday, March 29, 2017

"Two Zen Tuesday"

“Trust Your Zen”
(Published previously on Rusty’s Blog, Aug 28, 2015. 
Extensively reedited.)

“Trust yourself,” my zen said to me.

“Huh?” I answered.
(For I don’t always catch
What my zen says

The first time around.)

“Trust yourself,” my zen repeated.

“Everything you need 
Is right inside you
This very minute.”

“Everything?” I answered. 
“That sounds like a lot.
Are you sure?”

(You see, I was afraid of trusting 
Just myself alone.
For whom would I blame

If I failed?)

“Trust yourself,” 
My zen repeated
With some exasperation.

“I’d rather trust you,” 
I answered.

“Same thing, dummy,” 
Replied my zen.

“Zen and Anger and the Lost Wristwatch” 

I remember my first wristwatch.

It was given to me by my father
For doing well in school.
I was probably eight or nine.

I couldn’t have been any older,
Because I stopped doing well at school
The year my mother died.

And she died when I was ten.

It was a bit Mickey Mouse,
That wristwatch.
But it told good time.

Until I lost it.

I took it off in the restroom at school
To wash my hands
And accidentally left it on the sink.

Realizing a moment later,
When I returned to the sink…
It was gone!

It saddened me to think
A fellow schoolmate
Would take it.

It angered my father 
That I lost something valuable.

He said I should learn 
To look after my things better.
“Maybe this’ll teach you,” he added.

But I couldn’t see it his way,
And felt no remorse for the loss.
After all, I didn’t do it on purpose.

My dad remained angry, though,
Which hurt my little heart.
You see, I wasn’t old enough

To understand that his anger
Wasn’t about me 
Or some stupid wristwatch.

It was about the death of my mother,
And the regrets my father bore
Deep in his heart.

He was angry with himself.

That’s why I get angry, usually.
I’m angry at myself.
Perhaps, sometimes, you are the same?

After all, nobody’s perfect!

Listen to me, please.
I think this is important.
Anger is a waste of good zen!

Which even though free and everywhere,
(As I’ve said many times)
Mustn’t be wasted.

And who gives a crap,
If you’ll pardon the expression,
About material things?

My zen reminds me every day;
‘The yearning for possessions
Can only lead to unhappiness.’

Ah, my zen!
Thank you for your loving wisdom!
Thank you for your humanity!

And thank you for helping me 
See a way
To avoid going crazy
In a world
I cannot control…

But must not fear.

That last couple of paragraphs
Sounded pretty wise.
Looks like dad was right, after all.
I did learn something.

Ha! Ha! 
I wonder whatever happened 
To that Mickey Mouse watch?

It’s probably somewhere now, 
Still telling the time,
Quietly ticking.

Ticking away the time…


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

"3 Spring Zens"

“Dinosaur Zen” 
(Previously published as Television Zen July 10, 2015. Edited since.)

I was watching TV last night.
It was a movie about prehistoric times.
Although, it being prehistoric, 
How would they know?

A young woman with big breasts 
In a little costume 
Was fighting a dinosaur.

She had plenty of zen!
Her zen was in her bravery
As she fought the dinosaur.

And in her costume,
Which struggled to contain her.

Just in the nick of time a handsome muscleman 
In another tiny costume came along.
He quickly assessed the situation

And knew just what to do.
His zen was mighty!
His zen was the zen of valor!

He fought and slew the dinosaur.

Then he was kissed by the movie cavewoman 
With the big you-know-whats.
The camera made sure I saw

Them crushing against his manly chest,
Straining to break free from the tiny costume,
While the dinosaur 

In the background writhed and bled.
For him the straining was over.
Then as the music swelled 

Up came the words,
The End.

I wonder where 
That dinosaur is now?

He had the most zen of all.

“Zen in Outer Space”
(Previously published Aug 28, 2015. Edited since.)

Is there zen in outer space?
Or is it just the sound 
Of no hands clapping?

It appears empty.
Yet it is fuller than we know.
It is even filled with things we cannot see,

But can only, 
For the time being,
Guess at.

Yes, outer space is 
Beautiful and mysterious.
Like zen is.

And patiently awaits 
Our further discovery.
Like zen does.

But, and here’s the difference,
Unlike outer space,
Zen is everywhere!

There is an endless supply of zen 
In the universe!

But only so much space.

“Zen in a Canna Leaf”

I saw some zen this morning, 
In sunlight 
Beaming through a canna leaf.

I try to be observant.

Especially in my garden,
Because you never know 
What you might see.

The sunlight is strong around here in the morning.
Strong enough 
To pass through a canna leaf anyway.

To pass through and nourish,
Leaving a trace 
Of beauty behind.

A miracle for my brain 
To ponder,
And my heart to delight in!

Thank you, creator!

For eyes and heart 
That see beauty 
All around me.

Beauty in the simplest things…
The normally unnoticed things…
The unchancy things…

Thank you for that beauty, too!
And for the understanding 

That flows from Zen.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

More Monday Zen

“Zen Can Do Anything”

My zen and I 
Had a couple of drinks last night.

You didn’t think that zen could drink?
That it was against zen’s religion or something?

Ha Ha! 
Don’t make me laugh.
Zen can do anything!

Anyway, as I was saying,
We had a couple last night,
My zen and I.

Now that I think about it,
Nothing was achieved.

I missed my dinner.
I spent my wages.
I stepped on the cat’s tail when I arrived home.

And now my head hurts.

“My Camera Helps Me Find My Zen”

My camera helps me find my zen.

I think it’s the way it makes me see the world.
To look upon things without distraction
And allow my eye to fall in love.

That’s the zen of it!

My camera helps me find beauty, too.
To see it right in front of my face
When it was there all the time.

That’s zen at work.

Beauty and zen share many traits.
You could probably name a dozen easily,
So I won’t bother, except to remind you…

That one cannot exist without the other.

“The Zen of Crows”
(Previously published July 20, 2015)

A murder of crows landed in the large oak tree 
That overhangs my home.
That’s what you call a gathering of these large, black birds.
A murder.

Who thought up that name, I wonder?
It is very zen!

Anyway, from beneath the tree 
I watched and listened,
While I drank some tea.

The crows were very noisy and active.
I might even call it confused or chaotic.
They seemed to be without zen.

I put down my tea,
And clapped my hands loudly 
As I rose from my seat.

“Where’s your zen?” I shouted.

The crows took flight
And circled overhead. 
Then as if by mutual consent 

They flew away to the north
Making a beautiful pattern 
Against the clear blue sky.

“Aha,” I said to myself.
“There’s the zen.”

“Keep Your Shiny Side Up!”

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
That is the name of a famous book
I once read a million years ago.

But I didn’t understand it too well.

Maybe it’s my fault 
That I didn’t understand it.
Maybe it’s the author’s.

Who can say?
Understanding doesn’t come easily
To anybody.

But I don’t blame my zen for that.

Who but an imbecile 
Would be stupid enough 
To find fault with their zen?

Not me.
I understand that much.

I like motorcycles.
I have since I was a boy.
I especially like riding them.

It is a very zen-like experience.
The freedom.
The speed.

The chance to empty my mind 
Of all but the road ahead.
The strangely relaxed tension

Of body, mind, and machine.
United as one,
Working in harmony 

To execute a perfect corner,
Or avoid being crushed 
By that eighteen-wheeler!

Yes! It’s quite a thrill
To ride a motorcycle!

And live to tell about it.

I guess, after reading that book, 
That I understand the zen of riding… 
Better than I do the zen of fixing.

But that’s okay.
So long as I don’t 
Confuse the two.

And remember to 
Keep my shiny side up.

“The Odds of Zen”

“I don’t have time for zen today.”

You may think that statement is true.

But it’s not.

There’s always time for zen.
It only takes a minute.
Sometimes even less.

But it can last you all day.
Maybe even a lifetime.
How do you like those odds?

And it’s free too.
I’m offering it to you now.
You simply have to reach out and take it.

I’m no mathematician 
Or economist.
But I know this much;

Zen offers a great return 
For your investment.