autumn advances

Autumn advances

and I become

a bit sad

closing the gate

to my hut.

~Ryokan (K Tanahashi, Sky Above, Great Wind)



the journey begins


You can learn about the pine only from the pine, or about the bamboo only from bamboo.  When you see an object, you must leave your subjective pre-occupation with yourself; otherwise you impose yourself on the object, and do not learn.  The object and yourself must become one, and from that feeling of oneness issues your poetry.  However well phrased it may be, if your feeling is not natural—if the object and our self are separate—then your poetry is not true poetry but merely your subjective counterfeit.

~ Basho*

Keith Kenniff is an American composer, multi-instrumentalist, and electronic music producer. He composes ambient/electronic music under the moniker Helios and post-classical piano music under Goldmund.

no trespassing


I sneak into your garden

to eat arena berries.

(Please keep yourself hidden

until I go away!)

~Ryokan, cited in: K Tanahashi, Sky Above, Great Wind

During a recent photo walk, I found myself ignoring a “no trespassing” sign while silently rehearsing innocent detail.  If I had not been somewhat oppositional, I would have missed this interesting chair being re-weaved by nature as well as a water lily pond and a kingfisher. Much the same as Ryokan, 190+ years ago, I found myself hoping the homeowners would keep themselves hidden until I went away.


A stick of incense stands by my pillow.

When the lantern dims, I pour some oil.

I add more clothes as the night deepens.

If you don’t mind my bare hospitality,

please keep wandering in.

~Ryokan (K Tanahashi, Sky Above, Great Wind)





 My eye for me is a certain power of making contact with things, and not a screen on which they are projected … The other’s gaze transforms me into an object, and mine, him, only if both of us withdraw into the core of our thinking nature [left hemisphere], if we both make ourselves into an inhuman gaze, if each of us feels his actions to be not taken up as understood, but observed as if they were an insect’s. This is what happens, for instance, when I fall under the eyes of a stranger. But even then the objectification of each by the other’s gaze is felt as unbearable only because it takes the place of a possible communication.

~Maurice Merleau-Pontry (cited: Iain McGilchrist, The Master and his Emmissary, p.166)