The Color of Zen

Too much morning light
can erase the purple and pink-
gray clouds layered above
the hills like cotton ribbons.

Misled dharma followed
you off this morning mountain
dusting roadside primrose
the color of Zen.

Crow calls break the silence
as Monet colors mix
with backrun brush-strokes
of too much water.
A good sunrise is hard to hold
like tail lights over the last hill.

11 Responses to The Color of Zen

  1. gingatao! says:

    Beautiful. Now I can follow that thought through the middle and didn’t get lost. It’s a beautiful exit in the morning, the colours perfectly reflecting the emotion. The connection between colour and emotion explored like in a painting. Impossible to paraphrase in any meaningful way because it achieves that transcendant quality of great art. The ending is perfect. Beautiful, a masterwork like a poem based on a painting by a master except that you have painted the painting as well with the poem.

  2. Scot says:

    Thanks Paul for returning to this. Although, this flows better and makes better sense…I still question it…will let it rest and wait on other comments. Thanks again.

  3. Narnie says:

    Paul’s going to think Im being difficult but I really prefer the first (but I shall tell you where my mind changes that version in a mo). To me, these poems are completely different. Ok, so you have only changed the middle but you have practically eliminated all sound until the crows call and this feeling of stark silence is emphasised by the Monet reference, which rather than being a progression, now becomes the scene setter. So, this poem is serene, accepting. Can I go back to the other to mark my contrast? Off I go…

  4. johemmant says:

    Well if I hadn’t read the first I’d be ooing and ahing as this is beautiful, truly the work of art Paul says but, and I’m not trying to be difficult either, I promise, laughing, ultimately I prefer the first too because of the sounds which for me carry the emotion, Narnie’s absolutely right. There is something haunting in the first and the taillights, an amazing visual, now have a little less impact because they are not set-up in the same way, there is less movement. However I’ve got to say I wish I’d written either of them and I take my hat off to you.

  5. Scot says:

    I see what you both are saying–thanks

  6. Eric1313 says:

    This was wonderful, right down to the end lines. To hold, or how to let go, knowing it will be back. That is something that I get from this.

    Thanks for the visit, I’ll be back as time permits. I havn’t had much time for blogging as of late, but I hope to change that soon.

  7. randall says:

    Yes! Just like Zazen and written with a wisdom that sees the subtle twists in time. I was reminded of a sunrise that I have forgotten because I can not seem to get out from bed before ten.

  8. Scot says:

    Thanks for stopping by–good to see ya here. Take care.

  9. Scot says:

    Thanks for leaving the comment–I will visit soon!

  10. Vincent says:

    For me, “misled dharma” struck a different note because it demands intellect – I still don’t have enough to crack this koan – and that stopped me in my tracks, whilst the rest just flowed in unquestioned, like it would being there in that scene. But this is of course just one reader’s take. Others may take misled dharma in their stride.

  11. Scot says:

    I like the critique–I felt somewhat the same—does misplaced work any better?

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