By Baisao

Making the busy streets my home
right down in the heart of things
only one friend shares my poverty
this single scrawny wooden staff.
Having learned the ways of silence
within the noise of urban life
I take life as it comes to me
and everywhere I am is true. . . .

Set out to transmit
the teaching of Zen
revive the spirit
of the old masters
settled instead for
a tea-selling life.
honor, disgrace
don't concern me
the coins that gather
in the bamboo tube
will stop Poverty
from finishing me off.