Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Koan

What is the sound of one hand clapping?

1. Silence.

2. An ear of wheat buffeted by wind.

3. A windshield wiper, back and forth,
temporary glimpses.

4. More silence.

5. Distress. A pesky gnat.

6. Disaster. Help! Frantic gestures.

7. In a field of snow,
a small fire has just been lit.
It is your only chance. Do not
let it go out.

8. Pounding, hammering silence.

9. Air. A whooshing sound. A door

10. We need each other.
What is a mother
without a child?

11. The body’s symmetry
is a glyph of balance.
We need to be whole.

12. The earth waves at the moon.

13. Laughter. Deep, healing laughter.

Leslie Schultz

Leslie Schultz (Northfield, Minnesota) has five collections of poetry. Her poetry has appeared in Able Muse, Blue Unicorn, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Little Patuxent Review, Light, Mezzo Cammin, MockingHeart Review, Naugatuck River Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Pensive, Poet Lore, Poetic Strokes Anthology, Third Wednesday, Tipton Poetry Journal, The Madison Review, The Midwest Quarterly, The Orchards, The Wayfarer, and Tipton Poetry Review. She serves as a judge for the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest.

life, unfolding
Saving Ourselves