The Second Sword of Taia

“Well then, the accomplished man uses the sword but does not kill others. He uses the sword and gives others life. When it is necessary to kill, he kills. When it is necessary to give life, he gives life. When killing, he kills in complete concentration; when giving life, he gives life in complete concentration.”

 

The Unfettered Mind,  Takuan Sōhō, Translated by William Scott Wilson,   Kodansha International,  17-14 Otowa-1-chome, Bunyo-ku, Tokyo 112-8652.

————————————————–

The Sword of Taia

needs no tsuba

for what point

defence?

 

When steel

leaves saya

destiny listens

only,

to motion

 

Resting before

the point of mind

is born,

sleeps peace,

afterwards not

 

In daishō

ever paired

the small

and the large

 

The close and

the far

range is

universal,

even cosmic

 

Sparing sharp

the sword

drawn on need

and not,

before

 

The Sword of Taia

is the Zen

of life and death,

its edge,

discerns

 

The when

of define

the swish

of moment,

which moves

 

Slicing the four winds

ever now

in the Satori

without gates,

or chains

 

When saya clicks

no mind point

attained again

before any thought

and return

 

A dawning instant

calls out blades

the point of mind

and action,

this too passes

 

The Sword of Taia

is birth

and in its birth

comes death

 

In its death

restive sleeping

is new birth

ready to flash,

again

 

The Sword of Taia

holds lightning

close

for they are

the same

 

This sword

ever dances

the edge

the nascent precipice

of life and living

 

And that

is a very

very sharp

place,

indeed.

The Sword of Taia

“Presumably, as a martial artist, I do not fight for gain or loss, am not concerned with strength or weakness, and neither advance a step nor retreat a step. The enemy does not see me. I do not see the enemy. Penetrating to a place where heaven and earth have not yet divided, where Ying and Yang have not yet arrived. I quickly and necessarily gain effect.”

The Unfettered Mind,  Takuan Sōhō, Translated by William Scott Wilson,   Kodansha International,  17-14 Otowa-1-chome, Bunyo-ku, Tokyo 112-8652.

——————————————————————–

Here

Now

In the silence

Of the night

 

Hear

Now

In the silence

Of the night

 

In

This

In this

Moment

 

In

This

In this

Movement

 

The thoughts

Yet to become

Words

 

Tilt

Just a little?

 

And it forms

That tail of

A cat

All crooked

With questions

 

It was me

That you came

Here

For

 

Wasn’t it?

 

So

If you want

To ask

Then ask

 

You know

That I won’t get

Offended

 

And

It will

Help

You to

Find

Peace

 

Which

You

 

Are in sore

Need of

Now

 

Anniversaries

Are

Difficult times

 

And the sword of Taia

Needs not

For what could it need?

 

Else to feel the Dao

Of it all

And to flow

With the bamboo

On the winds

Of a coming storm

 

And to bend

Bend the knee

As Izanagi and Izanami

Mark the fabric

Fresh

Into the earth

 

To mould the island

Of birth

 

And it is the sword of Taia

Which

Inscribes

The character

 

Fresh

 

On the rice paper

Path

 

That leaves

Not the faintest

Vein

 

Of the autumn

Toe touch

And the summer rain

 

To see

The chrysanthemum

Awaits

 

While

The rainmaker

Bids

The moon

Goodnight

 

And my world

Is the better

 

With the hope

That

I have been

At least

A little

Use

 

Ichi