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El Darko Meets Rosebush
with a Cast of Sixteen Thousand Spacey Characters

by David Chadwick

from Roundabout Zen: Recollections in Celebration of the 70th Birthday of Zentatsu Baker Roshi

El Darko as his fellow students dubbed descended on the area bays and was transformed by collusion against all assumptions at light speed with transplanted Rosebush - lovely petals, threatening thorns - unlike Kane who grasped at the Rosebud past or Utopian friends seeking a frozen future, this curious invader was stalking the wild absolute presence. He came swirling all mixed with ingredients from Indiana, Maine, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, various merchant marine ports, who knows where else – the past changes and can’t be kept up.

Now seventy times this catalytic aggregation of vacuum cleansers and hound-dogged proboscis snooping has shed his quarks and charms around our star like lassoes catching the cosmic dust to sprinkle in shut eyes. This is cause for cerebration and so these digitalis leaves pound the keys to stimulated heart.

He had attended to the ivy tunes of the well-versed and studiously peddled ants and found them off, closed the door to escape inhaling lethal draft, trod Pacific Cathay ruins but to no uh grail. Then one early eve while swinging bushido air katana in metaphysically bookish space heard he of the master of the others in and went out not to dine with the painter but to climb with him into the decommissioned synagogue boat. What had he met on that voyage? A genie from the past? How could someone in the robed present present such agreeable gifts – not one returned!

Feed forethought then caught from Don’s clue, Alan’s wit, and Charlotte’s web on guarded movements and subsequent whispers of the Mulberry temple surely where those silky offerings had long since sunk then without having so much as a sip he got the DTs telling him to feign unworthiness is in vain so he dove in with skinny pained legs and cushions three high. As the Nipponese saying goes, shit-oh-down – but get over on the men’s side doofus.

Just decidedly to do this much flipped the switch that lit the first gallery. As electricity transmitted by train conductors continues from the bloomin’ buds long, long before to now standing on the corner waiting for the Shakya Muni to transport him in freestone where not knowing buys your ticket. Nothing to do but be your fill-in-the-blank. The change in your pocket just right. What relief.

Artists, poets, schoolteachers, Bohemians, Englishman, and Oriental lists came pouring out of surroundings. The state of Virginia was added to the geographile and another union was formed dedicated to the proposition that.

Driven to save all sisters and uncles and not go nuts on the misery-go-round with hold your horses carved not from Port Orford Cedar but detamination slowin’ down getting’ a grip on that pole by letting go of the vertigo nausea. There in the thick of stinging nettles the hunter watches frozen breath illuminated by moonlight in wee hours. From catacombs to labyrinth to maze to Blanche’s by the fishing boats, always carrying in hairless-shirt pocket the edifice of practice makes prefect to be your own boss. Thus he followed the ox’s path without gaining on the beast ridden.

Our subject did not object to the abject or astral in pursuit of just this thus he planted question marks before the diminutive huge force that nurtured. In return he received reflections, deflections, dismissals, inspections, alterations, suggestions, vexations, inhalations but no silver billets or get out of Sam’s car a freak heart. Can we do this? Yes, if you do it.

Taking a brake from the queue and hey this snugly duck link would times just float in pond with mentor swan allowing the endless continuous Mobius trip out like Milky Way out there and back. Dis beautiful flame cam burn your clothes but who approaches know they heart completely axecepted welcome to join in the conflagration to be consumed while not becoming ashes, their asses with their own three times.

The dance goes on with mats and brooms, feet and candles, skandas and void, looking and listening, and no matter what combinations are rolled, the fortune cookie crumbles to reveal a new opening. Devils must be hellions before new angles are found, squares before circles, Christians fore ‘liance with Buddhas. Should I go there? There’s no where. Should I do? There’s no do. Do what you do. Be your do. Do be do.

And sparking of flame, there was that windy day lighter-singed finger in font of the fireman’s found and the life assurance clouds lifting for one more meant of good and the real ideation that the photo finished negative of this dot in the vast swirl of pain can be a drop of hurt in a bucket of joy. As a rule which includes them all, onward into the four novel troths – there are stepping stones to be made, to be found, to be gleaned. And the noble preceptor is quietly pleased to have sneezed in the breeze of such pollinating commitment.

Ah, so many teach-ins like the time our windmill jouster took this list of five great arguments to his master each as solid yet subtle as alabaster to be presented to the landlord’s Chrysanthemum court. Pick one he was told, leaving a hole wide enough for the whole lot of them to walk through.

Missed your short mushroom stick said he wouldn’t use it less he ‘spected your rehearsals so what a heap of respect he clobbered our boy with in the hall cause he’d gone round the bowing line to catch the deportees for impotence stuff.

In senseful days of not inhaling the crumpled empty pack tossed on messed track – oh that – he turned back and whack! Outside ended and now began and the show ran like Bodhisattva’s one track vow, even-gauged, coursing through mountains, deserts, ghettoes, nations, galaxies.

Time came to go where the world was born so Suzie who’d been holding plant to rock could watch it take root. He’d done a jig on the dirt road the day junior showed him where we’d go. The apprentice’d been fired up, well-introduced and reduced and seduced by the skilled means - been courted, ignored, drowned, beaten on stones, wringed, hung in the hot sun, ironed and pressed, folded, put in the dark, and worn to the ball. Now he had to do guard duty, meet the neighbors, beat the path, beat the drum, be on call, call the bees, fire himself, gear up, zoom and Chekhov Liszt. With wind bells ringing and phones blowin’ in the trees he led the march to the valley where we lay down our weapons and surrendered to the dirt, rocks, trees, sky, and five waters – one from runoff, two from ground below, one from sky, one down road.

I was there, a hunchback dwarf monkey who’d come one honking day into the white stone city having hopped from roof to balcony to where everyone sat still. I still sat with them so they let and fed me and we evolved through unintelligible design posts. When first I swung from the so-called rafters route 66 there was so much juicy mystery. How to get down on those black pillows and not fall off? Why do those men wear dresses? Why do they smile so much? Does Rosebush thank you for sleeping there by tapping you with his magic wand? Some things I could see though – that he was number one to everyone, that everyone to him was number one and that El Darko was the first number one which is how one not able to count to two saw it. El Darko had a special place that Rosebush shoed other squatters away from.

The seen had differ and periscopes depending where I’ze hanging. There could be all there sitting, standing, walking as equal ones. Or, each could be a center from which everything included other centers flowed. Rosebush could be axis with us like planets. He and his countryman could be double stars round which we spun. Sometimes could see no life – just stillness of the building and clothes and hair with sound of traffic penetrating from asphalt below. I’d times spy through the glass of competition mad power, creatures vying. And then there were the golden cords connecting – concentrate on one off these and everything else disappears.

Could see karmic twist tie Slim and Rosebush, deeply rooted sending waves to all sentient zendorphin surfers. These two guys had big plans rolled up their arms and intentions which sprout like flowers from the crown of Rosebush’s head from the time he was a boy as petals spew from brother hands whose stripling too bore striking Indican notions of empty pockets to come. Like there’s no noon cause you get close and closer then it’s over and that made the grandfather clock stop the second he dyed that deep blue. And the Polish so sage cult where they’d bow to Krakow drawing in a bit of the decades to commandeer. Yes, like now this monkey swings as that ignorant child singing "Everyday I do, everyday I don’t." And Rosebush told him when he asked what time it was not, not to have a rash. So you see how the child is the farther of the man - I can.

Zinging on over the complex array of the soft core, fellow travelers, elders, infants, benefactors, stupifyers, advisors, inquirers, guardian angels all crocheting a hidden then together. Snatch any of these players out of the game and the future resets. Take away Rosebush and thousands of stories scatter to way off unfindable. Rake away El Darko and it’s uncertain how far things would have gone. No you see it but maybe not.

In the kneedings to discus the site search of opportunists for earlier wake up calls, here especially the confabulation between our sub jests stood out. Still born they were of a team but eye proceed the dominatrix of their ship in the blooming-to-be in the wildness. I swatched – they’d let me be the monkey on the wallflower. They’d be so into it they’d not no this and maybe secretly wanted witness. One grated aspic of the Rosebush not true of many spearchild treasures is his leanin’ greatly from his sou chefs and waiters, the busy boys, and unbarred girls. Good ears. But none he deferred to like this one. The revolutionary are of both kinds of men – the wer and the wyf – practice making together in a monostair heap was not Rosey’s. He gets credit carded for going long but not for occurred to hem but to his little Rosebuds like the festschriftee who said his mate and wee one were on the way with many of your most devotisimal. I cupped my ear and heard in the shell the sound of the seaman saying "No women, no Tassajara." Papa said, "No English," and kiddo said "It’s a must." Papa said everyone had to go to the waiting room for a week or at least point seven one four two of that but nooooooooooooooo, three would have to do and we ended up with two and two thirds but no one after us was that softy luck.

They took me in a box to the mountains where I saw all that and also Rosebush name the former El Darko, Zentot. I can’t say I’ll do all this he’d claimed aback at the list of rules only to be told to shut up! Ha ha. An infant terrible indeed! The guy who’d privately said shut up said publicly how grateful he was for all the other he had done. This Insight Mountain Bull’s-eye was ordained too back then like they were brothers and the second robe came down that day cause the years between had come before and something almost not one knew is that the yellow one too was offered and refused like Dogen knew it wouldn’t work with the Chinese.

The Tot was attentive as always not tentative as never to the how now mountain man. He’d followed every move, eared every pin drop, nursed the nuances, but hadn’t mimicked every strut and grammatical error – a little bit, we all did – but not ad vomitorium. You know, ewe no, yu knough. The alert arhats had helped to clear his steer of that. What pressed my little monkey pants in all this voyeuristic training was the minded singleness of course and a lot of other thinks but be may what zapped me little tail a twittering the most was how that guile remained himself, wasn’t a freight to be his honed shelf rather his whole engine just not thinking it can over and over all the way up to Lover’s Leaping Lizards, the valiant ones who take that brave step beyond not at all lemmings who never did that to begin with. See – he didn’t fall for that Disney crap and knew that if you can’t be the one you love then love the one forthwith. He himed but didn’t hawed in deed, in speech, instinct and thus me felt good in not trying to be other than the deformed dwarf monkey I was. Like the publishing barb said, "To zine own true be self."

There’s a common threat that runs in the thingy of the early folk, a nostalgia for the coffee klatch, a yearling for the intomacy that was lost as smidge by smidgeon more welter pigeons homed in to peck and preen. Eventually the hosed days were the good old days, the nuff to go round daze, the way-seeking mistletoe jam. Some heathen felt betrayed the sizemic Quakerness shifted, commitment to shrimplicity gone overboard, the captain not at his table, take a number.

After the first spring glimpse of the place supposedly where meat was hung to dry, Rosebush danced happily on the ridge dirt road five millipedes high as his co-conspirator drove marveling behind. By winter solstice the corporation had seized control.

No particulate matter in mine, the twisted runt gourd had fibbed his way in to Baghdad by the Bay, but brought blind ammunition to do as much damage as could to destroy mindset and spread the lawless, mossly to leaf his liken on Turtle Island rock. When he did his silly jog that sunset over Big Sur’s little mist, it was joy at finding a nursery to found – he dervished the new sprouts from him and his. Dancer also missed the coziness, but knew that to stay undercover would be to soil the nest. He’d rather go back as they’d feared so long but no need now as winged mussels rippled and carried flock flying out of movie theater to sun god.

Upped the auntie to great aunt having broken the piggy bank fifteen times more year before. They’d done this, done that, gone from a here to a there that so far apart and no pardoner in this did as much as that would-be Samurai who was so beary, airy, very busy turning that second wheel of the temple. As it says in the echo, ni rin tsune ni, which means may the two wheels turn forever and the second one is the ergonomic as in "I spend, ergo I am." Naturally there were da tractors – grinding along with their own tracks to guide them – resent men. These horsy neigh sawyers had the gall divided into four to say the guy was just a clerk. Sure. It’s the realtor theory, a word mispronounced as much as nuclear. It’s the bizman bash. Let me put my monkey tailspin on that rheumatoid. Ox scat. Although he may resemble that remark, it’s the apposite that is truly. Lettuce review who skipped over his seniors in wearing dresses in public. Who was sent to the radio stations and other into viewers. Who would sit next to the guy whom no one would question and make outlandish statehoods and ride off with the blue ribbon? Sorry, but no one could pick up his robe and bowl try as they May June July. That role of many colors came, our own little bamboo hermit told me, as result of good undelstanding replete commentment. Not for some MBA. And at that time birthday boy was in exhale from being the CEO or the big baldhead or the shot caller. He was expandable. He’d been skipped across the lake to study up for taking the long pass in the play that never ends running toward that goal that never appears.

Beautiful dangerous Rosebush braZenly loved little Zentot and your truly monkey blubbered about it in weaker days because of all the excrement we’d proudly made together in this inescapable vale of turds. One continuous mistake later monkey jabbers on unconcerned.

Far an wide end caught the first wheel, the eyelidless Daruma one, and he’s out there turning it, rolling, spinning it along with his own short mushroom stick and it’s bouncing down road with him and all sense tent beens are peering out from flaps in their thought coverings, down from the figure-eightive clouds, up from the profound and sideways from unexpected all them unborn in essence, but seeming like us spiritual fiends all arc hauling out "Spin it baby! Spin it!"

And so, thanks be, round and it goes.

Bibliography     Roundabout Zen main page  DC Writings

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