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Great Zen Masters & Other Holy Fools (2004)

Great Zen Masters & Other Holy Fools Cover


As a young boy
My son Patrick
Saved the lives
Of neighborhood
Once I saw him
Press on
A drowning beetle’s
A bubble popped out
Of its tiny mouth
It lived

And always, with him
There were the frogs
Each would gaze
At the other
And for a long time
Theo the boy
Would extend
His gentle hand
And the frog
Leap lightly
Into his open palm

Patrick would exclaim:
”We love crickets
So there are crickets”

Patrick cried:
“You just stepped on the best
worm I ever had!”

Patrick sang:
“I feel like a hippopotamus
On a diet
In the spring!”

Patrick philosophized:
“If you wake up
And don’t touch anything
It won’t be a real day.”

The pounding machinery
Of religious ideas
Deafens me
It was from rugged mountains
And still waters
That the Zen ancestors first emerged
Ii is there I would return
And to my son, Patrick
Whose lightness of being
Outweighs theology

--Philomene Long


Before the beginning
Alone. No hand cutting the night
No lips opening in
The velvet and speechless black
Alone. Always alone
Forever young, the beginningless

Before the water longed to
Comb through the sands
The wind to play with the grass
The Word
And from the Unnamable
There is one birth, one death
Immense yet, one small cup contains it
There is one book, one writer
And the reader, the writer, the book
Are one

--Philomene Long

(C) Copyright Philomene Long Estate 2008-2011, All Rights Reserved. Photographs by Pegarty Long.

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