Kundalini Splendor

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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Chiang Chieh––"Once When Young"––poem 

Once when young . . .

Once when young I lay and listened
To the rain falling on the roof
Of a brothel. The candle light
Gleamed on silk and silky flesh.
Then I heard it on the
Cabin roof of a small boat
On the Great River, under
Low clouds, where wild geese cried out
On the Autumn storm. Now I
Hear it again on the monastery
Roof. My hair has turned white.
Joy — sorrow — parting — meeting —
Are all as though they had
Never been. Only the rain
Is the same, falling in streams
On the tiles all through the night.

- Chiang Chieh, 1300 C. E.
  (translated by Kenneth Rexroth)

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