yama uba         What is Zen?           page     16


Don’t be silly.

You don’t have to go anywhere.


I know that, my lady.

All I have to do is just to remember that.



When I play in the reality, when I’m with your reality, I help men, who come in the mountains and gather kindling.

Heavily loaded, they need some rest and sit down in the shade of the flowering tree.

I will share their burden and walk with them under the moonlight.

When we get to the village, they are happy to finish a day’s work and go to bed without noticing me.



I help girls, who weave cloth.

Who can tell an ugly hag is helping them?

They work at the looms by the windows.

The shuttles come and go between their hands.

On the twigs outside, the nightingales are singing to the sounds of the wheels and pedals inside.

Everything goes in harmony and the girls joke about it, saying, “An invisible demon is helping us”.

Diva and Hag


Late in autumn, when the pale moon shines, the frost on your sleeves tells you winter is near.

You can hear housewives fulling cloth or silk.

When the sounds stop, can you hear silent voices talking noisily?

Who’s talking?

No one knows that my hand is moving with every beat of theirs.

➾➾ Continued