1) Full Moon

The bright moon glows,

Radiant amid the tracery of empty branches

Like a silver mirror

Reflecting nothing.

Drawn from their dark den,

Fox cubs open their sparkling eyes,

Extend their clever paws

Onto the edge

Of the human realm

Seeing Genji’s moon

Sparkling in the parting lover’s tear,

Seeing Li Po’s moon

Bring song into a wine cup,

Seeing the spy’s moon

Showing the way to the enemy.

People think that this moon

Reflects the light of a hidden sun.

Why could its light

So cool and still

Not be its own?


2) Servant's Moon

The faint scent of skin and sex

Fades in the dark amid the golden leaves

About to fall.

The servant’s moon,

A moon not full

Yet offering the light of fullness,

Floods the silent sky

And reveals a long luminous cloud bank,

A new snow-mountain range

Rising on the horizon’s edge

As another world

Briefly touches here.


3) The Love Of Earth And Moon


Gazing one on the other

While their children sleep,

Pearl bright moon and shadowed earth

Embrace in night’s deep tidal ebb and flow:

Opening each to the other’s subtle influence

In the wordless gravity of love.


Constant and continuing,

A silent unending caress, invisible by day.



Douglas Penick graduated from Princeton University and was a research associate at the Museum Of Modern Art, New York. He has studied and practised Tibetan Buddhism for more than 30 years, and has written and taught on Asian culture. Douglas wrote the Canadian NFB’s series on The Tibetan Book of the Dead (narrated by Leonard Cohen) and libretti for two operas: King Gesar (Sony CD featuring Yo-Yo Ma, Peter Serkin, Peter Lieberson and Emanuel Ax) and Ashoka’s Dream  (Santa Fe Opera) with Peter Lieberson. He has written commissions for the NY Philharmonic and other orchestras to music by Philip Glass etc. This year Publerati released his novel, Journey of the North Star.

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