MU CH’I’S PERSIMMONS (Gary Snyder)


There is no remedy for satisfying hunger other than a painted rice cake. 

—Dōgen, November, 1242.

On a back wall down the hall

lit by a side glass door

is the scroll of Mu Ch’i’s great
sumi painting, “Persimmons”

The wind-weights hanging from the
axles hold it still.

The best in the world, I say,
of persimmons.

Perfect statement of emptiness
no other than form

the twig and the stalk still on,
the way they sell them in the
market even now.

The original’s in Kyoto at a
lovely Rinzai temple where they
show it once a year

this one’s a perfect copy from Benrido
I chose the mounting elements myself
with the advice of the mounter

I hang it every fall.

And now, to these overripe persimmons
from Mike and Barbara’s orchard.
Napkin in hand,
I bend over the sink
suck the sweet orange goop
that’s how I like it
gripping a little twig

those painted persimmons

sure cure hunger

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “MU CH’I’S PERSIMMONS (Gary Snyder)

  1. kmala

    love this. absolutely love this. this makes me want to buy the jam. except I hate cardamom. oh, the humanity!

  2. Devadeva Mirel

    the purple astringent jam has no cardamom. just lemon peel. delish.

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