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Persimmon poetry by Gary Snyder

Hachiya persimmons (in exchange for end-of-season Purple Cherokee tomatoes, from Forage Oakland)

Mu Ch'i's Persimmons - Gary Snyder

On a back wall down the hall
lit by a side glass door
is the scroll of Mu Ch’i’s great
sumi painting, “Persimmons”
The wind-weights hanging from the
axles hold it still.
The best in the world, I say,
of persimmons.
Perfect statement of emptiness
no other than form
the twig and the stalk still on,
the way they sell them in the
market even now.
The original’s in Kyoto at a
lovely Rinzai temple where they
show it once a year
this one’s a perfect copy from Benrido
I chose the mounting elements myself
with the advice of the mounter
I hang it every fall.
And now, to these overripe persimmons
from Mike and Barbara’s orchard.
Napkin in hand,
I bend over the sink
suck the sweet orange goop
that’s how I like it
gripping a little twig
those painted persimmons
sure cure hunger


Anonymous said…
Thanks for the great poem. Persimmons say Asia to him but they'll always remind me of California. Read somewhere recently that you can freeze them and scoop out insides, it's like persimmon sorbet. Yum! Nice forage/trade.
Anonymous said…
Having never been to Asia and seeing persimmons for the first time when I moved to California, I have to agree with you.

I have a frozen persimmon defrosting in the fridge!!!