100 lire Italian coin:
Athena with olive tree

— for Dad's 100th birthday

no sight better than this light— the Pearl of pearls,
no speech can reach the grandeur of that flight—
from alone to the Alone. The Cosmic circuit
carries me like a breeze to 100 lives of change

a hundred grains, a hundred fruits,
sun and moon dance in heaven
thunder and rain chant to earth
seedburst of grasses and trees

Abraham & Isaac, Buddha & Nagarjuna—
a hundred prophets tranquil in a cave
on hearing a single meaningful word
their mind empty, pure as the sky.

May Wisdom be your guide, for the road
to enlightenment is narrow and full of
curves, everything you see will vanish
except Love— give wine, give bread

give back your heart to itself. Light up
the 100 magic squares that add up to
50-50. Divide the upper and lower
waters. Sit calmly in the midst under

Athena's olive tree, admire her hundred
tassels of gold, and let her kiss you
a hundred times and more, each time
afresh. Now be ready for the Quest—

O Earth, O Wind, O Fire, O Water,
O Sky— as thunder frees the rain,
Soma's stream runs on like steed
to gives us power and strength—

Simplicity! not a hundred desires
but one wish to have none, to wait
a hundred ages and have no doubt,
to touch 100 flowers and not pick one

a hundred horses, a hundred cranes,
a hundred nymphs riding on dolphins—
each moment a hundred messages from God:
He answers a hundred times— "I am here."

A hundred suns mirror each other's beauty,
a hundred fathoms into the cave of delight,
a hundred streams fill a sparkling bay,
a hundred times pure devotion in my sleep.

Where art thou Muse?— a wrinkle in time
a tesseract Be still, O quick! gravitational
pull— breathe the void of to be
the hundredlettered name, the last word

the first to move the artist— imagination!
Now the time has arrived
the Poet shall come, singing his songs—
let us shake bones together!

a single bone, a secret in stone
Rose and Lily and a Butterfly!
I gaze on the Far, look at the Near,
the moon & star, the forest & deer.

From harbor to harbor to home
my harp filled with music
my heart full of dreams
the unanswered questions gone

like snow into boneless light.
I find no centipedes with 100 legs
nor century plants that bloom in
100 years. So tell me Parzival—

What is Truth? He smiles and shows
me the Grail— a single drop of blood
with four strands of pearls, and at the
100th bead— I find Genesis & light!

Celsius had it right— at the point
of perfection— transcendence!
a hundred cranes ascend to heaven
a hundred snowflakes descend to earth.

No more dives to the ocean's depth,
no more search for the perfect pearl.
The real treasure not there but here,
my eyes closed, my mind opens to

Peter Y. Chou
Mountain View, 9-2-2002

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© Peter Y. Chou,
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (9-2-2002)