"What is the most important thing in art?
              Sincerity? Truth? The most important
              thing in art is a sense of measure."

              — Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)
                  Yasnaya Polyana Notebooks
                  September 25, 1907

To see the measureless,
one needs a sense of measure—
it's a balancing act on the high
beam, thirty billion angels dancing
on a pinhead and a micron off
the mark, heaven & earth split asunder.

The upper & lower waters
are separated not by distance
but purity, an atomic ordering
turning sunlight to redwoods,
their decay to coal, carbon black
to translucent beauty.

Zero & one— not a difference
of unit but a quality of essence,
night & day of Brahman,
from emptiness to manifestation,
deep sleep to wakefulness,
karmic wheels & the cross of grace.

I cross the middle of the field,
you greet me on a bicycle,
and next to a giant sugar pine,
we talk of poetry— the stained
glass at Chartres, the impurity
of pearls & the sand grains of time.

            — Peter Y. Chou
                 Palo Alto, 6-29-1992

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© Peter Y. Chou,
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (6-29-1992)