2. Discovering the Footprints

“Along the riverbank under the trees,
I discover footprints.
Even under the fragrant grass…”

How many signs does a doubtful seeker need
to know? for sure the bull is there – right there
foolproof footprints everywhere and just the one creature
neither mislaid nor yet found on a roundabout route
too tough to configure to the other side of the hill
and still wondering why pure pilgrim souls
stroll so willingly into the wayward wilderness

I think I heard it too – the call of the wild
beguiled by a seashell, the midnight tempest
a sort of sick wander lust for everything elusive
evangelist without purpose – the procrastinating
forsaken orphan howling laments for the lost
futile speck of astral dust

the quarry stamps and snorts close by
my questions fall away like fragrant feathered grass
on paths downtrodden by the vagrant bull
scheduled and on course to seek out subjectivity
with guarantees a spirit guide is now preparing to preside

Second poem of the series interpreting the ten oxherding pictures of zen meditation – see Poetry Project: 10 bulls 
And uniting with other Sunday stanza originators at Poetry Pantry

18 thoughts on “2. Discovering the Footprints

  1. So glad I am catching up with this fabulous project….I did go back to read the first installment and was glad I did altho each can stand alone….again your sublime image sets the stage for the opening line….’How many signs does a doubtful seeker need to know?’ For many of us too many signs and we still fail to see.

    1. Lovely to see you back in the blogosphere Donna and always appreciate your perspectives – none so blind as them that cannot see

  2. “a sort of sick wander lust for everything elusive” I feel this is the saddest part of a zen journey when the seeker is doubtful. But there must be doubts to reach enlightenment. Such a beautiful poem!

    1. thank you Sumana – the trough of doubts can be hard to move on from but good progress is made once out of it!

    1. thank you – I can only lay claim to the words and photoart – the kōan is a spectacular source

  3. Some awesome lines in this. ‘a sort of sick wander lust for everything elusive’, I found to be particularly layered and nuanced – particularly in these strange and chaotic times – focus has its place.

feedback is food for thought....

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