Posted inArt and Poems, Other Teachings

Facing the Wall

October 28, 2015


It’s me and my shadow again:
the little night I cast on the wall
looking cubist this morning,
square-shouldered, pin-headed.
All the trouble, all the pain,
yearning and hope:
all from that one
square yard of darkness
on the wall.

Bodhidharma sat this way,
a leaf of a man
blown in from the West,
light as dust,
a quaver in the haze,
for whom night and day
were a memory,
life and death a dream.
He crossed the Yangtse
on a blade of grass,
then sat for he didn’t care
how long, until
there was nothing left anywhere
but that blur on the wall.

By Henry Shukman


Image: Colours of the Soul, by Hartwig HKD, CC BY-ND 2.0, from
Featured Image: Windtunnel, by Skeeze, CC0 Public Domain, from

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