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Old 08-21-2015, 10:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
Mr. Charlie
Shoo Thoughts
 
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: These Mountains
Posts: 2,292
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Han Shan spits out these words,
words no one believes . . .
Honey’s sweet, so people love it,
But the best herbs are bitter, hard to get down.
Go along, and they’ll all love you.
Oppose them, and you’ll get a big-eyed stare.
All I see is wooden puppets,
playing out their melodrama.


- Han Shan



Most of us are born with this disease . . .
a taste that never wavers:
piglets, steamed, with garlic sauce,
roast duck with a dash of pepper,
or minced raw fish,
or maybe pig’s cheeks fried skin-on.
Don’t care how bitter someone else’s life might be,
as long as yours is sweet and greasy


- Han Shan



Here’s a message for the faithful
what is it that you cherish
to find the Way to see your nature
your nature is naturally so
what Heaven bestows is perfect
looking for proof leads you astray
leaving the trunk to search among the twigs
all you get is stupid


- Han Shan



My mind's the autumn moon
shining in the blue-green pool,
reflecting, glistening, clear and pure...
There's nothing to compare it to,
what more can I say?


- Han Shan




I was born just thirty years ago,
but I’ve wandered a million miles already.
Along the River through the green grass on the
banks,
out to the borderlands, where the red dust roils.
Chewed herbs, cooked up alchemical elixirs,
trying to become an Immortal.
Read all the Writings, chanted the Histories
aloud,
trying to learn them all by heart . . .
Today I’m on my way
home to Cold Mountain.
There, I’ll bed down in the creek, just to wash out
my ears.


- Han Shan



People ask about the Cold Mountain way:
plain roads don’t get through to Cold Mountain.
Middle of the summer, and the ice still hasn’t
melted.
Sunrise, and the mist would blind a hidden dragon.
So, how could a man like me get here?
My heart is not the same as yours, dear sir . . .
If your heart were like mine,
you’d be here already.


- Han Shan



Parrots live in the Western Lands;
forest huntsmen net them, bring them here.
Courtesans love to play with them, and so
they are well known at Court, in and out all day.
They’re given golden cages to dwell in,
but bolted in, their robes of plumes are ruined.
Better a swan, or a crane . . .
riding the winds high up, well known
to the clouds where they fly.


- Han Shan



There is a man who makes a meal of rosy clouds:
where he dwells the crowds don’t ramble.
Any season is just fine with him,
the summer just like the fall.
In a dark ravine a tiny rill drips, keeping time,
and up in the pines the wind’s always sighing.
Sit there in meditation, half a day,
a hundred autumns’ grief will drop away.


- Han Shan



Oh Wise Gentlemen, ignore me!
Like I ignore you fools.
I’m not stupid, I’m not wise,
from now on I’m just gone.
Into the night, singing in moonlight,
into the dawn, dancing with white clouds.
That’s the way to occupy your hands and mouth!
I can’t just sit still while my hair grows!


- Han Shan




My old landlady
got rich a couple years ago.
Used to be poorer than me.
Now she laughs that I don’t have money.
She laughs that I’ve fallen behind.
I laugh that she’s gotten ahead.
Both of us laughing, no stopping us.
Lady of the Land, and the Lord of the West.


- Han Shan



Every single thing has uses;
when you use it, use it right.
Use it the way it’s not intended,
first it wanes and then it drains!
A round hole for a square handle
is pretty sad, just an empty failure.
The most glorious warhorse ever sat
can’t match a crippled kitty
in a race to catch a rat.


- Han Shan



Happy? That was old Huntun . . .
Never got hungry, never even took a piss,
until he ran into those grateful friends (those fools)
who drilled the seven holes in him.
Up in the morning, work all day
just to get our food and clothes:
harvesting enough to pay our rent and taxes.
A thousand hands after just one coin . . .
All together shout it out now: Run for your life!


- Han Shan



Green water in the stream in the pass,
white water risen from the clear-welling spring . . .
Han Shan’s moon’s a flower, white as well . . .
So the darkest secret, the spirit by itself illumines:
gaze into the emptiness: to the ends of the earth . . .
You’re alone, with all within.


- Han Shan



A scroll full of poems by poets of talent,
and big pot full of wine fit for saints.
I love to walk out to watch the young bull calves;
sitting, I’d rather stay close to home.
Frost and dew can soak through thatch,
but the moon flowers white
through the window made of old bottles;
I’m poor, but I can build more windows now,
a couple more cups, to go
with the chanting of two or three new poems.


- Han Shan



Talking about my generation:
So many busy men,
broad in their educations, broad their views,
but they don’t know a thing about their very own
natures,
and they wander way off the Way.
If they really saw what’s real,
why would they offer us stale empty dreams?
In the single mantra, now, the heart,
you learn to know your own,
seeing what the Buddha sees.


- Han Shan



These days you might meet a man,
heart missing, dumb as a plank . . .
When he talks, nothing you can understand
comes out
of his mouth, except when he says, “I don’t care.”
Ask him the Way, “There ain’t no way”;
ask about the Buddha, he just says don’t ask.
Question him carefully, get into detail;
deep, vast, and empty is this slough of despond . . .


- Han Shan



When the stupidest folks read my poems,
they snort in incomprehension . . .
When the middling sort read my poems,
they think them over and pronounce them deep . . .
When a sage reads a poem of mine,
his face breaks into a great big smile.
When the great Yang Hsiu saw the
young woman, in an instant,
he understood the mystery!


- Han Shan



There are some folks who’re strict and straight,
but I’m not in the strict and straight cart.
Plain clothes making dancing easy,
and when the wine is gone you can
be drunk of singing!
Go for a full belly,
but don’t wear your legs out looking for lunch . . .
When the weeds grow out of your eye sockets,
you’ll rue that day . . .


- Han Shan



If pleasure comes, enjoy it.
Time’s never an arrow to let miss the mark . . .
We talk like we’ll live to a hundred,
but who’ll ever even get close?
Living in this world: just grasp a handful . . .
And money? That’s a word the autumn crickets
choke on.


- Han Shan



There’s a single tree here, twice as old
as the grove that grows, to reckon true.
It’s roots have answered every insult
that the mounds and channels
of the changing earth could give,
and its leaves have given way to wind and frost.
People laugh at the gnarled remains,
never thinking of the complex beauty of the grain
within.
Let the skin and flesh fall free . . .
What’s true, what’s real, is there, inside.


- Han Shan



There’s a naked worm up on Cold Mountain,
body white, head black,
with two books in its hands.
One’s The Way, and the other is The Power.
He has no ax, no fires at home,
no knapsack for the road.
But he always holds the Sword of Wisdom,
to cut down every thief of peace.


- Han Shan



Since I came to Cold Mountain,
I’ve fed my destiny on mountain fruits.
What cares could there be in an ordinary life?
I’ll simply follow mine through . . .
Sun and moon move like a river,
light and dark; just sparks from stone.
I give you charge of all that changes, earth and sky.
I am become the pivot,
here sitting on this cliff.


- Han Shan



They laugh at me, “Hey farm boy!
Skinny head, your hat’s not tall enough,
and your belt goes around you twice!”
It’s not that I don’t know what’s in . . .
If you don’t have the cash, forget it.
But someday I’ll get rich for sure,
and then I’ll wear a big, tall
Buddhist gravestone on my head.


- Han Shan



Old, sick, last years, hundred and some so far.
Brown, my face, and white my hair,
I love living on the mountain.
Cloth robe wrapped round me,
I accept what’s coming to me . . .
How could I try to imitate
this world’s vain schemers?


- Han Shan



How can reading a book keep you from dying?
How can reading a book keep you from being poor?
So why all this love of learning? To read,
as if loving to read made you better than others?
Just this: real humans, if they don’t love learning,
where shall they find peace for this body?
Bitter herbs are the best medicine,
but they are hard to swallow . . .
Try some garlic sauce. That’ll help you get it down.


- Han Shan



When people meet Han Shan,
they all say he’s crazy,
face not worth a second look,
body wrapped in rags . . .
They haven’t got a clue when I start talking;
I wouldn’t say what they say.
But I leave this message for those who
come looking for me:
“You could try to make it to Cold Mountain.”


- Han Shan



To wander free among the mountains,
you don’t have to buy them.
For a steep climb you need a stout staff,
and a good strong vine helps when it’s steeper.
The pines beside the creeks are always green,
but the rocks in their beds come in all colors.
You might get cut off from all your friends,
but in the spring the birds will sing for you.


- Han Shan



I enjoy it, like music, the simple path of my
everyday life,
vines in the mist, cave in stone, beside the stream.
I love the wild places, broad sunny ways to wander,
free as the white clouds, my companions.
There is a road, but it doesn’t go to town.
Heartless, you may find it.
On a stone bed, alone, night sitting,
full moon rising on Cold Mountain.


- Han Shan



Among a thousand clouds, ten thousand streams,
there is one idle man.
In the white sunlight
he rambles the green mountainside,
goes home at night to sleep below the cliff.
Watching the springs and the autumns pass
sequestered, for sure, but pure,
and owing aught to anyone.
Happy? Depending on no one.
Quiet as the autumn river, flowing.


- Han Shan



I live in a village in the countryside,
without a father or a mother.
With no name, no rank in my clan.
Some people will call me any old name.
Some people call me another.
No one is my teacher:
I’m just a poor low creature like many another.
But I know myself. I’m real,
and my heart is the Diamond.


- Han Shan



I live on the mountain
no one knows.
Among white clouds
eternal perfect silence.


- Han Shan

Last edited by Mr. Charlie; 08-21-2015 at 10:51 AM.
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