Poems by Alan Gregory Wonderwheel





Sitting in the dark

hearing crickets and frogs,

rythmic soundings,

vibrations somewhere between

songs of serenity and yearning,

I expected to see the full moon

but clouds obscure the moonlight,

and now seeing comes in the ear,

with the breathing universe

of intonation that is not sound at all,

but the presence of

the one word

in a mirror


in the night.




At sesshin I was ringing the temple bell and one morning I came out to ring the bell and there was a spider web strung from the bell to the post. It shook and sparkled in the sunlight as I and the bell tolled.  Several views came to mind as English haiku.




little spider

don't be startled by the morning ringing of

the temple bell



the temple bell--

I hope you have ear plugs like me,

little spider



the morning sun

glistens on the web swinging from

the temple bell



people hear

the temple bell -- do they see the web

attached to it?



little did you know

little spider -- you hooked your dream

to a temple bell.




I'm writing verses to each of the Sayings of the Gospel of Thomas, here's Saying 10 and my added verse:


Saying 10. Jesus says this, "I have cast fire upon the world, and behold, I watch over it until it blazes."




Who can catch the fire that he casts?

If you try to grasp it, your fingers will burn.

The arsonist says, "Just behold."

When the fire blazes and consumes the whole world,

Like the great sun descending from the heavens

And engulfing your entire body,

Then the true gold appears.





Fallen into this well

Filled with dew, lightening, and dreams,

Drowned in blossoms.





sitting on the patio,

I see two full moons.

one seen through the maple leaves,

one seen in the reflection of the window.

or is it

one moon with two reflections?

one reflection in the sky,

the other reflection in the window

reflecting the sky?

Oh my,

do I have to decide

which one?

which two?

the moon in the window

appears less obscured, fuller, and brighter,

while the moon in the sky is mostly hidden behind the leaves.

the night is cooling after the hot day,

the sounds of distant traffic

remind me that there are places to go.





Gazing at a swirling galaxy.

Countless spining worlds in space.

Vast gaseous nebulas.

Supernovas blazing and passing away.

And not a bit of it outside, 

This miso soup.






driving toward the full moon
rising above the golden hills --

the sun is blinding
in the rear view mirror.





This square sake cup

so how is it in the middle there--

the round moon?



The Cold Mountain is a Killer



Everyone loves Han Shan's* poems.

No one knows what he says.

His words are as frosty as the highest mountains.

His meaning is as out of reach as the coldest mountains.

Hiking to the summit of Han Shan is deadly.

If you persevere in your climb

and are able to take one more step off the ice cold peak,

you awaken in the warm valley where grasses abound.

Wading through the myriad verdant spears

you meet Han Shan

on the tips of each green blade

as it pierces your heart.


(* The Chinese poet Han Shan's name means Cold Mountain)







Dimples may be many things,

but forceps scars

or fatty deposits

they are not.

Whatever you think they are,

they are not.

Dimples could be the reflections,

the imprints,

the seals of transmission

of the twin black holes of personal charm

engulfing the vision of one's original face,

but even that is thought,

so dimples,

even that --

they are not.

Dimples can be seen,

but like the crescent moon seen soon after sunset

while the sky is still faint

with the glowing smiles of light,

dimples just can't be captured by thought.




味観  Ajikan,



the realization of Buddhism,

the taste of enlightenment

the flavor of insight.


Is there some cosmic coincidence

that the first letter is an "A"

the beginning of both

Japanese and English


the "A"

derived from the Sanskrit for




the mother duck

flapping up on the bank

her tippling-rolling little brood




wind and willows


our talking of the world's

illusions of



Bare feet

laid back in the grass

setting sun:




味 【あじ】 (adj-na,n) flavor; flavour; taste; (P)

観 【かん】 (n,n-suf) (1) look; appearance; (2) spectacle; sight; (3) {Buddh} observation meditation; (n-suf) (4) outlook on ...; view of ...; (P) 







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Page last edited 7/26/08