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NEEDLEWORK
by Shiwu Qinggong (1272 - 1352, Yuan Dynasty)
English translation: John Balcom

Going everywhere with scissors and measuring stick,
The thread goes, the needle comes; busy every day.
Having measured everyone’s long and short,
When will I measure my own long and short?


POEM OF MOUNTAIN LIVING (EXCERPT)
English translation: Elaine Lai, Zhi Yue, and Miao Guang

Worthless it is to boast of
competing for gain and pursuing fame.
In the wild leisurely strolls a lone monk.
Out of fields of the heart grows
no grass of ignorance,
From gardens of realization
blossom bushels of flowers of wisdom.
Beside the yellow mounds
grow abundant brakes and shoots;
Over mossy grounds alight few dusts and sands.
Having come here in my thirties,
Many times the setting sun has been
reflected on my windowsill.
For forty-some years in seclusion I have lived,
Unaware of the mundane world’s rises and falls.
Nights are kept warm by
the burning pine leaves in the stove;
While midday hungers are satisfied by
my bowl of hand-picked wild vegetables.
Seated atop a stone watching the clouds
with carefree thoughts,
Patching clothes under the morning sun
cultivates a peace of mind.
Should one ask why I came here from the West,
I tell only the river channel
all of my private thoughts.

── from Fuyuan Shiwu Gong Chanshi Yulu (Records of Chan Master Shiwu Qinggong of Fuyuan Temple)