He was determined to find the answer
to the koan, "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"
Religiously, he stood still before the sun,
eyes closed, breath controlled, ears perked.
He thrust out his hand, flapping it in nothing.
Initially, he was annoyed at thoughts,
a marching band that constantly paraded across his mind.
When he was able to ignore them, he heard the breeze,
the birds, the brook, the butterflies, the bugs, the falling twigs,
even the tiny groan of pain
that trees make when they grow.
The monk himself grew
He never stopped listening to the flap of his empty hand,
though his intention had no logic.
On the day he died he scribbled in the earth,
"everywhere and nowhere."
The old monk's disciple saw the writing.
He shrugged his shoulders, watched as the wind
erased the letters. Then he took the old man's place.
Every morning you can see him,
one hand clapping.