His Master

A bald thin man plays with his cat                                                                               Two dark robes are laid on the chair by the little fire
The room is slowly freezing away
He tells me about his old temple
Where spring stretched deep into late June
And homeless Kōdō used to come and visit
"How long have you studied with him?" I ask
He brings the teapot and some pickles
Eyes smiling he says: "Take… this good for us"
I try to chew quietly

(Joenji temple, Nagano)