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Hakuin Changes His First Shitty Nappy

He saw them coming

Up the hill

Rambling mob

When he's trying to sit still!


Bang bang bang!

He opens the door

All angry faces

Shouting and roar


What's this?

A baby!

Thrust into his arms

An accusation

A young lady

The chance would be a charm!


Act dignified

Act graceful

Get them to go!

'I'm the father you say?

Is that so?'


Now the days take on a different tone

Sleepless nights

Dreams of enlightenment blown!


Nappies to change

A young mouth to feed

From this cycle of rebirth

No chance to be freed


A year goes by

The girl comes to her sense

Wrought with guilt

She ends the pretence


It was a fisherman you see

Who fathered the babe

The old monk did nothing

Yet the price he paid


'Is that so?'

He says

When they come to collect

Repentant villagers

Back to showing respect


And back down he sits

Resuming once more

The path to enlightenment

On his hard wooden floor


Except it's not quite the same

Not just as before

This self centred quest

With no one to adore


If this tale was told now

He'd marry the girl

Live happy ever after

His life would unfurl


But this was Japan

And so long ago

No such ending availed

It's sad but it's so


Editor's Note: As a result of being abandoned by its two primary caregivers, the child grew up with serious attachment disorders.

Tea for Two

Tea poured

Over the rim

And onto the table

The guest alarmed


The master smiles

Preferencing emptiness

Of both cup and mind


To be filled with what?

Illuminated from within,

Or more babbling opinions?

Basho's Enlightenment, as Told from the Perspective of the Frog



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