I'm not Buddhist or Taoist
not a Confucianist either
I'm a brownfaced whitehaired
hard-up old man.
people think I just prowl
the streets peddling tea,
I've got the whole universe
in this tea caddy of mine.

Left home at ten
turned from the world
here I am in my dotage
a layman once again;
A black bat of a man
(it makes me smile myself)
but still the old tea seller
I always was.

Seventy years of Zen
got me nowhere at all
shed my black robe
became a shaggy crank.
now I have no business
with sacred or profane
just simmer tea for folks
and hold starvation back.