Knowing Deeply

This bird is cold. The Gazebo
is enclosed. In the winter
zero-activity is also
its openings are covered with
shutters made of thick
slabs of oak. The bird roams
inside, a Raven, used to winter,
used to the dark -- silent, smart,
uncomplaining. In early spring
the oak opens, screen takes
its place. the bird, silent
still cold, moves, its black
eye glitters, and sometimes
paces to the front of its cage.
But no further. Flight is denied.

Summer. Warm breezes. Because
this is a mountaintop, the screens
are down. The air inside, which
is the same as that without, mingles
with the space of the endless universe.

The Gazebo released in a winter
storm, walls shattered, there is now
no inside, no out. The cold bird
having seen everything, all these
things, for its own reasons leaps up,
its strong, dark wings rowing
to the pines and the sun,
Raven-roaming, by milky way,
the end of things; the same dark
knowing bird that had been caged,
with one sharp hoarse cry mixes
imprisonment with air, two winged,
and vanishes behind the trees.
It was the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni,
who discovered that zero exists through the
activity of zero. This
is called the activity of emptiness.
-Sasaki Roshi-

Steven Fortney

Black Buzzard Press, Visions International, Fredericksburg Va., October, 1998
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