Ryokan, high in the tree,
plucked the bright persimmons
tasting them to test their ripeness.
But then he ate them all himself,
forgetting the small boy
who waited on the ground.

I bought my persimmons
in the bright supermarket;
one was soft, but was it quite ripe?
I plunged a spoon into it, and
it was almost perfect,
so I shared it with you.


(The story of Ryokan and the persimmons appears in the introduction to John Stevens, One Robe One Bowl: The Zen Poetry of Ryokan [Shambala: 2006/1977], but without any attribution.)