a street in the loop

by Jim Benz

a monk asks Joshu,“Does a dog
have Buddha-nature or not?”
Joshu answers, “Mu”

mu is clamor,  the chaos of cities, Chicago –

            car horns and shouting

                        a distant jackhammer

            sirens fading, but still

mu is passage, a changing mosaic on sidewalks, motion –

             underfoot pigeons

                        their deep-throated coos

            a feathery flight, but still

mu is vision, a refraction of no substance, illusion –

            transition of light

                         the sky on glass towers

            reflection of clouds, but still

mu is silence, the gate of translation, unthinking –

            sore feet on cold steps

                        the ache of accretion

             handing out change to a beggar, but still



Author's Note: soon to be published in Spry Magazine

Posted on 05/21/2007
Copyright © 2023 Jim Benz

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Elizabeth Jill on 05/21/07 at 02:39 PM

This poem is mu

an ocean of mu flowing over


Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 01/23/08 at 06:54 PM

I can't believe I missed this one. Amazing poetics, Jim.

Posted by Ann Krischus on 04/24/08 at 01:43 PM

I'm in love with your poems so I'm adding you to my friend's list. looking forward through sipping on all the poems i haven't had the opportunity to read yet.

Posted by Meghan Helmich on 09/25/08 at 02:00 PM

how do you do so much publishing? :)

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