Zen Christian : Opening the Seal on The Shoyeido Calendar of 2021

Recently I acquired one of my favorite calendars from one of the oldest incense stores in Kyoto. They produce the zen scroll calendars in Japan with each month’s scroll written in brush stroke by each a different temple monks selected from around Japan. This is the year of the metal ox according to Chinese astrology and the calendar’s cover page is a charcoal drawing of a man riding an ox while calmly playing the flute. 

This makes me think of how, in the lead up to the feast of Christmas Joseph must have felt finding Mary suddenly pregnant. Joseph was free to choose among many options then, yet, decided to stay and help out and see where things would lead.
The world, fate or, really all things external to us are the ox. Sometimes heavy issues can be like lead heavy metal and Joseph riding atop it all gracefully like playing a flute in the midst of it all.

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As the leaves consider changing colours soon

 In waiting for a new apartment I wrote a few pensive poems noticing the tree leaves growing darker in preparation for the autumn display. I found a new apartment and job so things are going quite well indeed.

black rusting coal train

old grain seed farmer sows out

between tracks grass grows


sweater warm thick socks

green leaves shiver convoy of clouds

evening beef broth tea on


“Hot day yesterday”

sun droops between clouds

lime to em’rald trees


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A brief return to the aviary

I’d have to check my notes: it was either in 1999 or 2000 when I wrote this. I copied it from one of my small portable notebooks into my more durable hardcover notebook of selected fair poems, (Opposed to those that are either crass, garbly, indescernable or unfinished).
It was while I was in the monastery knowing I’d be going back. Either that or just after I got back. I was inspired by Br.Rene with whom I’d discuss the upkeep of the aviary. First time I’d seen an aviary. I was also inspired by Kathleen Norris’ rare volume of poetry entitled How I came to drink my Grandmother’s piano and her style of using science 
to explain that theres stuff more science can seek to explain…….

Christmas and New Years

I’ve been busy studying over the last several months back here in Canada. I have also been writing brief zen poems in Chinese along with reading lots of haiku.  I do indeed enjoy the non-traditional haiku that are shorter than the standard 5-7-5. Often times those with the shortest closing lines are the ones that prove to be most striking in the impact of their imagery. I shall post some of my seasonal zen poems for autumn and winter later. Until then, here’s a poem for the upcoming New Year :  

the great temple bell

sound surrounds the silent crowd
New Year. monk smiles

Korean Summer Poems for Rainy Season

With rainy season upon us these days I’ve been spending my leisure time back here in Thunder Bay Canada reading and drinking tea. Lapsang Souchong with milk is usually my rainy day tea, most especially when it’s a bit on the cool side out.  
I have recently started a new venture doing tea ceremonies here in Thunder Bay a few times each month in various locations around town. Mostly outdoors in summer in local park where you can drop by and see and even sample some tea if you like. Details for which can be found at my Where Wisk Way Blog or better still on my FaceBook group page Travelling TeaTime also to be found in the sidebar on this page.  

When in Seoul … Dinner with Dance Performance !

As I’m rather short on time these days, here’s some brief information about an amazing restaurant in Seoul that serves a fine full table of vegetarian Korean food with all the tables around an open area in the center where, while you eat there are several dance performances. I highly recommend it for a special night out in Seoul.

Here’s a Korean language Naver Blog post about it. Dinner is, I believe 45,000won a person but it is well worth it ! Also you need at least 5 people in a group to make a reservation although I think they do make exceptions for 3-4 people possibly… I have put the location on my tea map as well.
Best wishes and do stay steeped !

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