Hovering on above Caithness (Northern Scotland – Orkney)

arctic skuas, guillemots and black backs, probing – swaying – with low and high motion intersplicing retrieving coordinates – rangag, ruard glas mheall liath, coir a’ghiubhsachain skaill, point of hellia splitting through eastern sutherland hovering above caithness, plunging into clear green depths shining, from waters to coconut fragrance melting yellows, beyond into wide moors – …

Autumnal haiku poems

Autumn-Twilight The hills cast shadows, And pampas grass is swaying In sunlit meadows. Buson Autumn Moon Is there anyone Who will not take up his brush With this moon tonight! Onitsura   three noisy mallards zipping through a shattered zone strewn detritus of torn ochre and golden pinks mashed into shards, blown hither and thither

Drawing, poetry and camping at mountain altitude

MOUNTAIN SPECTRE WHITE WING BLACK CAIRN Loafing around up on the Cairngorm plateau Has many advantages – You can loiter in peace with the deep blue sky, Surrounded by tiny dots of stone after stone Fading into the ten directions, Eat some homemade granola and bathe in fresh mountain streams – After contemplating two deer …

Working on Tenzo Zen Cooking Notes…

In the last couple of weeks, with the kitchen work still fresh in my mind since being up at Ardfern with the Zen Group, I started getting some notes jotted down to help others on the practice of Tenzo, and particularly in terms of the preparation, timing, various kitchen duties and roles, that sort of …

Dogen’s Waka: 2 Poems, 2 Commentaries

First poem and commentary by John Fraser: My free translation of Master Dogen’s poem Shobogenzo: 波も引き風もつながぬ捨小舟 月こそ夜半のさかひ成けり In the heart of the dark The moonlight holding A small boat drifting Unmoved by the wind Unthrown by the waves Dogen’s poetry – because it is imagistic – makes it easier to express apparent paradox than prose. We …