Every January at WEZC we create short poems to capsulize our legacy in case we die during the coming year. These are sometimes playful, sometimes profound, and always surprise us with their scope and wisdom. Also included are a few favorites by Zen masters of the past.

New Year’s Day -
everything’s in blossom!
I feel about average.
— Kobayashi Issa, 1819
Fifty-four years lighting up the sky.
A quivering leap smashes a billion worlds.
Entire body lacks for nothing.
Living, I plunge into Yellow Springs.
— Eihei Dogen, 1253
A moment ago
So much undone,
Now, all is as it should be -
A mystery.
— Kyogen Carlson, 2014
avoiding the unknown
slow moving and earnest
nagging at the edges
now rushing forth as water
every moment within it.
— Anonymous, 2019
Dreary rains falling
Emptying the sky above
Making room for me

I am ready now
But not rushing toward the end
My life filled with joy.

My soul returns home
Greeting loved ones gone before
Farewell to Bodhi (my cat).

How I love this life
But will not miss the weeding
Flowers stay on still.

I am One with All
Trees, wind, blossoms, friends, lovers
Continue as One.

Love, peace, wisdom, joy
All part of the consciousness
Forever, ever.
— Anonymous, 2019
Meow, meow, meow
I want to go outside
or in - whatever.
— Nancy Ashley''s cat, 2019
5 blinks of the eye.
So many experiences in such short time
Life is beautiful!

All the joys and sorrows
Are as fleeting as the wind.
All we have is now.

From death comes new life.
The seedling grows from fallen flowers.
Each in its own time.
— Rachael Basye, 2019
What is left behind is
A twinkle of light along life’s path
that fades away into emptiness.
— Trish Carroll, 2019
This is how it happens:
Two days spent preparing dinner for friends.
Do we have enough peppers?
Will the oven heat up to temp?
Did you remember to buy wine?

Dinner was good, then I was gone,
leaving my guests to clean up.

This is how it happens:
driving to work
fixing dinner
at a meeting of great importance,
then we are gone.
Know that I love you.
— Emilie Teiko Cartoun, 2019
Do you know how beautiful you are?
Why not?
— Jody Shintai Dungay, 2019
The meaning of life to me is to grow.
Do not fear the unknown
for it is indeed unknown.
Life life the best that you know
and embrace the end, the great unknown.
— Lillith Pendergast, 2019
You are the stone
Your life is the running water
As the water runs on
the rock erodes on.
— Lillith Pendergast, 2019
I’m not TRYING to do it,
I’m DOING it.

That’s it.
— Bruce Ryan, 2019 and Guy Moore, 1997
The river rushes
Taking everything with it
While the rocks are still.
— Monica Smith, 2019