Zen Bone

Two traveling monks
come upon well-dressed woman
stymied by street run with mud.

Old man scoops her up
carries her across
and silent sets her spotless down.

Many quiet miles later
the young monk reproaches the old,
“You know it is forbidden for us to touch females.”

“You still carrying her?”
he laughs,
“I set her down hours ago.”

– Smith, 3.23.2014

Today’s and yesterday’s poems are my versions of koans in Zen Flesh Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings by Paul Reps, Nyogen Senzaki, 1957.

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