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Month: December 2011

Zen Poem

Zen Poem

Kinkakuji. Photo by Keith Pomakis

 

Nothing to learn

 

Sitting still and awesome like a mountain
No-I thought of nothing
Half-way home

Master Hsueng asked No-I
“Why do you think of nothing
With great intent?”

And No-I said
“Through concentration on nothing
I am liberated.”

Thwack came the bamboo stick
Gong gong gong rang the bell
Birds cawed as they fled into the blue sky
Their sky their home

“Master, why did you strike me!”
No-I asked in great pain
No longer still or awesome like a mountain

And Master Hsueng answered:
“When you grasp after nothing
You make it an object
Outside Mind-Body

You break the flow between void
And form
Form and void
You categorize nothing!”

Thwack came the bamboo stick
Back down on No-I’s shoulders

No-I did not Awaken
For two more years

 

 

— by Douglas Pinson

 

Kimbra’s Ring of Gold

Kimbra’s Ring of Gold

This 21-year-old singer has “it.”

Plain Gold Ring

Explosively controlled jazz. Volcanic scat and soul. She bobs and weaves and falls victim to the depths of her emotional possession, as all great artists do. But she rises from those depths and expresses the journey upward and outward, without losing her courage or her conviction.

Aside from her wonderful voice, running parallel with it, she moves in interesting, idiosyncratic ways to her own song. A refreshing change from all too many pop singers who dance in cookie cutter ways, pushed into narrow corporate forms to look like every other pop singer.  Joy Williams of The Civil Wars is similar in her physical originality.

*     *     *     *     *

Kimbra Johnson was born in New Zealand, grew up there, but now makes her home in Australia. She has been compared with singers like Nina Simone, Amy Winehouse and Bjork. Her first album, Vows, was released this past August.

The Waikato Times Click to continue . . .