A Cue

"A Cue", number 141 of 188 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

Yesterday I referred to Aitken as 'the old man', today I'm not so sure. Cues come at us all the time. Some are obvious and some are subtle. It is the obvious ones Aitken overtly refers to in todays miniature. Yet there is a subtle set of cues being talked about here too.

Language is a cue game. Every word is hinting at whether or not we are members of the same community, whether that community is strong or weak, inclusive of exclusive. Do we ever stop with this community building?

Birdle Burble

(For James Broughton)

I went out of mind and then came to my senses
By meeting a magpie who mixed up his tenses,
Who muddled distinctions of nouns and of verbs,
And insisted that logic is bad for the birds.
With a poo-wee cluck and a chit, chit-chit;
The grammar and meaning don't matter a bit.

The stars in their courses have no destination;
The train of events will arrive at no station;
The inmost and utmost self of us all
Is dancing on nothing and having a ball.
So with chat for chit and with tat for tit,
This will be that, and that will be IT!

Alan Watts Nonsense

 "On the occasion of Alan Watts' 50th birthday, James Broughton wrote a poem for him. On James Broughton's next birthday, Alan Watts wrote this poem for James. It's called: Birdle Burble"

Found this reference on the internets. Surprisingly little reference to this poem which adds to its mystery.

I found some hint that the poem James Broughton wrote for Alan Watts' 50th birthday was a poem titled "Forget-me-nots For Alan Watts". Near the right vintage but nothing to confirm. Also couldn't find this poem on the internets. It is printed in a couple of books by Broughton.

Hooplas by James Broughton
Special Deliveries by James Broughton

I was caught up short when looking online through a listing of the paper of James Broughton at the Kent Library and found this:

1978, July: Tabernik, Joan Watts To [James Broughton]. Invites him to theinterment of Alan Watts' ashes. Printed Manuscript. 1 p.; 17.4 cm. 

Thanks to Matt for pointing out this poem and its mystery.

Any error or confusion created by my commentary on
Miniatures of a Zen Master
is solely a reflection of my own delusion and ignorance.
Any merit generated by this activity is solely the result of
Aitken Roshi's clear teaching and is dedicated to
all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas throughout space and time.