it is what it is

The flower invites the butterfly with no-mind;
The butterfly visits the flower with no-mind.
The flower opens, the butterfly comes;
The butterfly comes, the flower opens.
I don’t know others,
Others don’t know me.
By not-knowing we follow nature’s course.

Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf (Translated by John Stevens)

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14 Comments

  • Graphic sexual imagery! Why is it called Dewdrops on a Lotus when he’s talking about butterflies? ** Confused** This is why I stay away from poetry.

  • Naren: wrt terri’s comment, Of course it is what it is, and hence the title. The mind sees what the eye doesnt :-p
    lol@what your mind told you!

    Lekhni: It’s Zen Master Ryokan’s poetry. I found it appealing.
    Picture’s from Flickr. Some really good ones there!

    Terri: Poetry isn’t for literal, but lateral thinking. :-p
    That’s why there are tons of us (esp me!) writing nonsense all under the creative license poetry offers 🙂

  • o btw, does anyone else see “possibly related posts” at the end of this post – and in ypur own respective WP blogs. Apparently it’s a new feature wp’s rolled out…

  • nice poem, narendra’s point makes sense (it being zen poetry).. or something on the lines of : we should initiate dialog with no pre-conceived notions and so should the other person (or atleast thats how nature intended it to be)

    PS: Before I ask where is the flower in the pic, you would say that the butterfly took it and if I ask where the butterfly is, you would say it flew off.

  • “By not-knowing we follow nature’s course”

    Interesting quote, ignorance is bliss, but then, did nature lead the course of science towards its own environmental destruction..

  • Saagar: Ignorance is bliss only so long right? I doubt”not-knowing” is the same as ignorance in this context. I’d probably project it to “not plannning” ..

    Pavan: Yep. That’s how I read it too. 🙂

    WT: It is right? I loved it. 🙂

    sb: You wouldn’t believe this, but was listening to 1942 as I posted too!

  • Lines 3 & 4..whoever says it evokes absolutely no sexual imagery at all raise your hand.

    Rads- yes, been seeing the related blogs-feature for a coupla days now.

  • Professor Shenoy, M.A.(Oxon) will annotate this versse for the benefit of the general public.

    The flower invites the butterfly with no-mind; (Butterfly is an MBA)
    The butterfly visits the flower with no-mind.(Flower is an MBA too)
    The flower opens, the butterfly comes;
    The butterfly comes, the flower opens.
    (In computer terms, this is 10 GOTO 20
    20 GOTO 10)
    I don’t know others,
    Others don’t know me. (You are at the wrong wedding reception, baby)
    By not-knowing we follow nature’s course. (By not-knowing, we also fail Math 101)

  • By not-knowing we follow nature’s course.

    …And we follow smiles and tears but still remain alone.
    Alone among the knowns around;
    Alone looking out the window.
    That one window – but lots of dreams, whoozing past,
    Leaving within some whimsy discomfort,
    But still we remain that flower and the butterfly –
    With no-mind, with no-rules, with no-stasis…

    Hope these lines remain as readable as the lines in your post. Thank You.

    +Keep The Faith.

  • A: Nice lines! Thank you 🙂

    Naren: LOL! You sure are being useful around the blogworld aren’t you? 🙂

    CW: I know this must sound outa character for me to say this, but here I am raising hand 🙂

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