The Moon Has Gone Down

It’s enough to say Namo Amida Butsu. No more is needed.
These were Amida’s words to me as I crawled sluggishly out of bed.
As I type these sentences two nights later I beg for assistance.
Paloma, my new name for the moon, is on her way to the Pure Land
and only my long dead parents watch me in my lonely attic room.

Namo Amida Butsu – Julia’s photograph stands on my desk.
Diane would have heard me uttering that nembutsu, were she awake.
Namo Amida Butsu – what am I doing here, up at four o’clock?
Namo Amida Butsu – I open my heart to the sovereign call.
The moon has gone down behind the building, over our tree-of-heaven.

Namo Amida Butsu: I am writing this mantra for myself,
watched over by my own death from the towers of Lorca’s Cordoba.

Gazing blankly at the photographs on the window-sill in front of me
I drain down my second mug of cold tea and wonder what to do next.
The utterly organic night makes up its mind to be tomorrow.
Time to stop thinking what I’m going to do, and get on with my life.
Venus is trine to Jupiter. A fortunate encounter today?

Almost tearing my hair out I utter a desperate nembutsu
to the dark purple sky visible at last in the garden window.
These long nights the last hour before dawn can be a test of patience.
I have been up for three hours, saying Namo Amida Butsu.

The only way to write a good haiku – empty your mind completely.
(Use this idea at my workshop in Jiko-Ji at the end of May).

Namo Amida Butsu. I stop what I am doing, and say it!
A breath of cold air as I open the front door and murmur nembutsu
to the jet-brushed sky over the marble Virgin. No-one to be seen.
Nothing to worry about. I’ll visit my friend in Holland in April.

Namo Amida Butsu – say it as if you were about to die.
Every second matters! Do nothing.Wait for guidance from Amida.
p.s. Friday at five: we are correcting this poem together.
I am seeing the world through different eyes, hearing it through different ears.

Twenty to nine. Here I am in my temple, wondering what happened.
(My temple is the name I give to the kitchen, holy of holies).
It looks like a sunny day. The night passed in a flash, writing my heart out
in the Secret Notebook I was given yesterday by Anabel.