evanescent ephemeral fleeting transient vanishing disappearing flitting
transitory brief momentary impermanent passing temporary elusive
What is not illusion? What is not real?
Don't mistake words for what they describe.
Excerpts from "Hitchhike"
Excerpt from the Buddha's Diamond Sutra
So you should think of all this fleeting world:
A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream,
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.
Last year, the Spring snake
was hidden in the grass
and I mowed her in two.
Today, I found her and her younger brother
while raking the last autumn leaves
from the garden.
I moved them both to safety
in the bushes,
before mowing the first new green grass,
already tall in April
from all the rain.
April 17, 1996
Excerpts from "Hitchhike"
by David M. Savage
During May, 1968, I hitchhiked down the California coast from
San Francisco to Santa Barbara. I carried a notebook and wrote as I traveled. Here are
some excerpts from that journey.
Copyright © 1968, 1996 by David M. Savage
Friday, May 10, 1968, 4:10 p.m.
Golden fields, clear sky, small towns, spaciousness, straight highway, uncrowded,
unhurried, roadside canals, two sand dollars and a rock with holes in it on the dashboard.
Green fields, distant mountains, passing a faded gray barn. Thousands of telephone poles
reaching ahead into infinity. Empty cattle cars, fields filled with water like Chinese
rice fields, small orange airplane far out above the plains. Emptiness and tranquility.
Sketchbook cover red, wispy, fluttering, floating away. An armadillo going down the
road into the distant mountains across the plain with a cloud in the sky. 7:28 p.m. The
sun's bottom edge touches the mountaintop.
May 11. With the key behind the post, Mike unlocks the three locks on the gate barring
the road. It's about midnight. Up and up and up a winding bumpy sandy road, around
mountains. We arrive. There is a trailer, a horse, several shacks and buildings, cars,
tents, domes, loudly barking dogs, and chickens. We are on a mountaintop overlooking
mountains and valleys. Inside the main house we meet a man named Chance, who offers us
coffee and rice. Later, outside, dogs are sleeping on couches and armchairs at the edge of
the cliff. Inside one of the domes, made from cinder blocks and cloth, a pig is sleeping.
We play with the pig awhile, then trot off down the path, across a gap to another peak,
roll out our ground cloths and sleeping bags and fall asleep beneath an overcast sky.
May 12, morning. The view of the valley: a desert plain, overcast sky, sounds of
crickets, birds, distant dogs and traffic, fog-covered mountains reaching up into vague,
strange, mystic disappearance. On the peak with the domes a figure climbs down swiftly in
the cool morning air. A rooster crows. The sun peeks out once and vanishes again into
May 13, morning. The sky is clearing, clouds melting away or drifting on south; sun's
out. Hot already, with a cool breeze. Off to the southeast, as seen from the freeway ramp,
the view looks like a countryside mural. In the far background, misty mountains, clouds
above. In the middle distance, dark green bush-clotted hills, tall pine and palm trees and
squat bushy trees. A cluster of three red barns, two white with green roof houses. Two
black horses stand dozing in a golden field. A row of leafy trees, cows under a tree, a
small airplane landing in the distance. A bird flies out of the picture towards me!
Haiku is a form of poetry that originated in Japan in the 13th
century. The format of a haiku is 17 syllables, divided into three lines of 5, 7, and 5
syllables. Haiku usually expresses a strong emotion or a mood. Traditionally, the subject
of haiku is nature. Matsuo Basho (1644 - 1694) is the most well-known author of haiku. As
a brief form in which the author attempts to use few words to express sometimes profound
meaning, haiku has a close association with Zen Buddhism. Many books have been written
about haiku. One book is An Introduction to Haiku, An Anthology of Poems and Poets,
from Basho to Shiki, "with translations and commentary" by Harold G.
Henderson, 1958, Doubleday Anchor Books.
Haiku by David M. Savage
(Written in January and June 1992)
Dusk after the storm
Radio plays Count Basie
Birds join the chorus
After a spring storm
purple petals light the dusk:
just weeds or flowers?
wet green smell left by the storm
that brought worms for birds
Waiting for a train,
standing in the summer rain
...the train never came
days are long, slow, and lazy...
take it easy now
Visiting a friend,
conversation turns to dreams:
Are we really here?
Traveling through mind
It's always near, never far--
this breathing ocean
Cannot leave the mind
no matter how far you go--
Travel where you will
Golden fish fly by
Wonder how they stay afloat
Laughing, giggling fish
Wind is colorless
Breath is colorless too
In and out we live
Rain stops suddenly
Shafts of sun pierce through white clouds
This rainbow moment
Brown, green, yellow, blue
Red bird, white cloud, golden sand
Colors of the Earth
Listen to wild mind
Books on zen: a paradox
No mind to listen
Dogs have buddha mind
Just listen to their barking:
Woof, woof, woof, woof, woof
Once upon a time
Buddha never left his home
Never heard of zen
Time to go to sleep
No more writing cute haiku
Moment after now
Toss one last pebble
Ripples spread from every plop
Please don't hit the frog
Eyelids closing fast
Blink a bit to keep awake
Don't fall out of mind
Can't go anywhere
Outside of the buddha mind
Body hasn't moved
The frog never went "ker-plunk"
Silent pond, no moon
Winter night at home
Brother wind, sister half moon
Bringing mind to mind
Buddha in the grove
Never said another word
Dancing flowers smile
Copyright © 1992 by David M. Savage
Created by David Savage. Please email comments to:
david @ savageheart.com
(Remove the spaces before and after the @ sign. They are to prevent spam.)
Last modified April 25, 2015
Copyright © 1996, 2015 by David M. Savage
All rights reserved, including pangalactic copyright
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