Tuesday, April 25, 2017

"How Big Is Your Zen?"


Water, rock, plant.
You, me, all.
Past, present, future…


“Marriage Zen” 

Boy! It’s hard to be married sometimes!

I suppose I’m not the first person 
To have thought that thought, am I?
Not by a long shot, eh?

I’m positive my wife
Has thought it more than once.
I can’t blame her.
Being married to me isn’t easy!

But being a zen man,
I try to understand
That life is full of suffering
For human beings.

(And all other creatures too, 
But I’m just talking about 
Married creatures now.)

Yes, we all must suffer!
Especially it seems 
For the sake of love.

But if she were listening,
Instead of giving me a beautiful example
Of The Silent Treatment,

And I were speaking,
Instead of hiding in my office
Typing on a keyboard,

I would want to say
To my life-partner;

I Love You.

Are you listening,
Dear wife?
I’ll say it again.
From my heart to yours.

I love you.

Whatever we’re fighting about today
Won’t be important 
A thousand years from now.
I guarantee it.

Only the love we shared
Will be important.

Come, hold my hand
As we journey together 
Toward infinity.

(And zen)
Will show us the way.

“How Big?”

“How big is your zen?”
A student once asked me.

“That’s an easy one,” I answered.
“My zen is very… er, big.
Or rather say it’s everywhere all around.
Or maybe never-ending is a better term for it.
All encompassing?
I’m finding it a little 
Difficult to describe,” I admitted.

I was a little embarrassed
And wanted to change the subject.
So I added, “That’s zen for you!”
And shrugged my shoulders.

The students laughed,
And my ignorance 
Went undiscovered
For another day.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"3 Stardust Zens"

“3 Stardust Zens”
[Performed April 12, 2017]

“Trust Your Zen”

“Trust yourself,” my zen said to me.

“Huh?” I answered,
Being at the time
Distracted by the world

And the part I play within it.

“Trust yourself,” my zen repeated, adding,

“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?)

“I’d rather trust you,” 
I said to my zen.

“Same thing, dummy,” 
It replied.

“Dinosaur Zen” 

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 
Caveman with rippling muscles came along.

He quickly assessed the situation
And knew just what to do.

His zen 
Was the zen of valor!

He fought and slew the dinosaur.
Then he was kissed

By the young 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”

Is there zen in outer space?

Or is it just the sound 
Of no hands clapping?

It appears mostly empty,
Yet is filled

With things we cannot see,
But can only, 

For the time being,
Guess at.

Yes, outer space is
Strange and mysterious.

Like zen is.

It’s been there since the beginning of time,
Rushing outward toward infinity.

Like zen has.

It patiently awaits 
Our further discovery.

Like zen does.

Yes, zen and outer space share many traits.
But, and here’s the big difference;

There is an endless supply 
Of zen in the universe…

While there is only so much space.


Thank you!
I’m the writer Rusty Pliers!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

“My Zen is Stronger Than My Anger”

“My Zen is Stronger Than My Anger”

My zen is stronger than my anger.
Which shows you how strong 
My zen can be!

Because my anger can be very strong
If I forget or I’m lazy,
And let it rage without control.

Which, I confess, happens
From time to time.
Remember, I never said I was perfect.

That would be pretty stupid,
To say you’re perfect
When anyone can tell at a glance that you are not.

No, I’m just a poet

Who thinks he’s found a way to live
In a world he cannot control…
But must not fear.

Oh yes! 
I’m not perfect!
Ha! Ha! Nowhere near it!

But we learn 
From our shortcomings, don’t we? 
If we live long enough and pay attention.

That’s the zen of it!

Now, about this anger thing.
Anger is natural.
Whether poet, beggar, or king,

We all experience it sometime.
So don’t be surprised by your anger
When it rears up uninvited.

Embrace it!

Treat it carefully though.
When your anger appears 
Say to it, 

“Hello there, Anger.
I see you have come visiting 
At a most inopportune time.

Perhaps you could return a little later?
Or possibly not at all?
Thank you.
Goodbye for now.”

Yes, a quiet word with one’s anger.
You’d be surprised how often that works,
When your cooler head should prevail.

Which, let’s face it, is always.

As human beings, we are blest
With emotions.
Some, good and beneficial.

Others, not so.

Zen teaches that an attempt can be made
To control our emotions,
(Both the good and the bad!)

To live a better life.

Not better than others.
You know I didn’t mean that.
But a better life 

Because controlling our emotions
Reduces their sway 
And allows us to minimize

The importance of things 
Upon our lives.
Whether big or small.

So that, minimizing the importance of things, 
We can stop dancing
The dance of the desperate!

And live in happiness through loving kindness.
 Kindness to others.
Kindness to ourselves.

With a heart full of love
And the blessings
Of the gods!

Because we try to do what’s right
(For instance control one’s anger)
In a confusing, ever-changing world.

A world in need of zen. 

If we remember 
To use our zen

It can cool.

I wonder.
Why are people smiling?

Because my anger is gone.

My zen asked it to leave
And after putting up a little resistance,
It went.

I hate to speak ill of those not present,
But isn’t it nicer around here,
Without my anger?

Don’t worry though.
Like many 
An unwanted guest,

He’ll be back.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

“If It’s Advice You Seek”

“If It’s Advice You Seek”

We’re collecting internet followers,
My zen and I.
I’m flattered but,

If I have followers
Does it mean 
That I must lead?

You cannot control all the events of your life.
Hardly any of them, really.

So try not 
To let things 
Get you down.

Be kind to yourself and others.
Don’t eat quite so much.
Think positive thoughts.

And keep your sense of humor
Turned all the way up!

I suppose that’s what I would advise you,
If it’s advice you seek
(And I were the sort of person 
Who gave advice).

One more thing, please,
Seeing as I’m giving advice now…

There’s something important I’ve learned 
Through hard experience
That I’d like to pass on;
(Because I love you!)

Whatever it is
You want to do in this life…

Do it now!

“Internet Zen”

Oh wonders of the internet!
Some of them that seek guidance via the digital domain
(And there seem to be plenty of them),

Come to me.

From half a world away
They seek my knowledge of zen.
Of which don’t tell anyone I have none.

I just do what I believe to be right.
And let my zen 
Do the rest.

I’m flattered by it,
This internet attention.
As if I know something big.
Like I’ve figured it out.
Like I was wise 
Or something.

But that’s a lot of baloney.

I’m just as dumb as you are.
Or, if you prefer,
Just as smart as you are.

If it makes you feel any better.

Listen to me, internet users who seek a way!
Turn off your computer.
Go outside and get a breath of fresh air.

Take a walk.
Feel the sun on your face.
Find a garden.
(Or some other zen-place.)

Empty your mind.

And search within yourself.
It is there.
All the zen you need.

Forever and ever.

“Zen For Breakfast”
(First Published on Rusty’s Blog, Oct 2, 2015
Completely rewritten Jan, 2016.)

And now… 
For that very zen-like 
Of questions…

Which came first?
The chicken or the egg?

Or should I say,
Just to be fair to all concerned,
Which came first,
The egg or the chicken?

So I asked my zen about it.

Which is what I do
When I need some wisdom,
About 10,000 times a day.

“Forget it!” replied my zen.
“Don’t waste your time thinking about it.
Both answers are correct.”

Both answers are correct.

That’s zen for you.