Twenty-five Figures II

To look up
  and never see the sky;
To look down
  and never see the earth.

Look at the color
  of my two eyeballs—
Being silent,
  I seem without sorrow.

Ride your horse along
  the edge of a sword!
Hide yourself
  in the midst of flames!

Words
  fail.
Mind
  fails.

Easy to see
  the tiger’s stripes;
Hard to see
  the mind’s shadows.

A good explanation:
  never explain everything.

A dog biting
  someone’s shit-scraper
Is not
  very clever.

A black ball
  walks on
    the snow.

The black ball
  dashes
    —dead of night.

Bring
  black water
    into a black barrel.

Left eye,
  half a pound;
Right eye
  eight ounces.

Shatter the paths
  of the thousand saints!
Destroy the mind
  swarming with devils!

Cut out
  every man’s
    tongue!

Never leaving
  home:
    right on the way.
Having left
  home:
    not on the way.

The golden crow
  last night
    jumped into the sea:
Dawn as usual—
  one wheel is
    red.

Two mud oxen
  fought one another
    into the sea last night:
Nothing known
  so
    far.

Thirty years later—
  somebody
    understands.

Three thousand miles away—
  another one
    who knows.

With the slightest
  yes and no,
Mind is lost
  in confusion.

Just enjoy it
  yourself:
It’s not for giving
  to anyone else.

Puppets dance
  freely
    on the stage:
Behind them
  the puppeteer
    controls.

Don’t forget this word,
  ever.

This word:
  most poisonous.

Chant poetry
  to your best friend!
Drink wine
  with your true friend!

Three hundred poems
  come to one thing:
“Think
  no evil!”

Translated by Sōiku Shigematsu

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