Bizarre Manifestations of the Dharma
法相奇怪集

By Poetry and Paintings by Lo Ch’ing
Translation by Joseph R. Allen


Published by the MCLC Resource Center, Copyright 2004
First published as an insert to Modern Chinese Literature (Fall 1986)
Original album in the St. Louis Art Museum


These poems and paintings were first published as a set in Lo Ching’s (Luo Qing 羅青) Buming feixingwu laile 不明飛行物來了 (Taipei: 1984, pp. 8-25). As a set, they are mutually informing interpretations, one verbal, one graphic, of a conceptual construct. Currently the paintings, held by the St. Louis Art Museum, are in an double-leaf album format with matching texts. These texts are calligraphic derivations from the “original” matching poems seen here. In the album format, the textual materials are subject to more graphic manipulation such that they interact visually as well as semantically with the paintings.

楔子

法相出奇怪 
無非你我他

The Wedge

Dharma manifestations emerge from the bizarre
Nothing more than you me him and her

苦讀尊者

不知是那書裡無文
還是我眼中無字
還是那書中無我
還是我心中無書
還是那書本不存在
還是這我早已消失

天地之間

只剩下頑石一塊
紋路複雜的靜立一 旁
默默無語

The Arhat of Bitter Reading

I wonder if there’s no writing in the text
Or no words in my eyes
Or no me in the text
Or no text in my mind
Or if that text really exists at all
Or if this me has already vanished

Between heaven and earth

Only one dumb rock remains
Intricately patterned standing alone and quiet
Silent without a word

苦思尊者

莫名其妙

不知從哪裡橫飛過來 
一塊火燙的大石頭
 
一堆難解的怪問題
 
如此沉重,落入雙手
 
十分無禮,撞進心中

害得我站在這裡

又呆又楞 
汗出如銅汁
 
舌卷如枯葉
 
差一點變成了一堆
 
乾渴欲裂的
 
碎石頭

The Arhat of Bitter Thought

How confusing

I wonder whence came flying
This big burning rock
A heap of weird imponderable questions
As weighty as this, to fall into my arms
Totally without reason, colliding in my mind

Torturing me as I stand here

Dazed and foolish
With sweat dripping like bronze juice
Tongue curled like a wilted leaf
Just short of turning into a heap of
Fragmented rock
Cracked by parching thirst

莫思尊者


“請坐,請坐
 
請靜靜坐在花瓶前
 
學習瓶中的水
 
請不要思,不要想

如果心思一動,念頭一轉 
那花瓶上畫的鳥
 
便會回過頭來
 
看你”

一隻畫的鳥 
在畫的花瓶上
 
 
一個畫的人
 
坐在畫的石頭前
 
如果說

The Arhat of No Thinking

“Please have a seat
Sit at peace in front of the flower vase
Learn from the water in the vase
Don’t think, don’t ponder

“If your concentration flutters, or thought wavers
Then the bird painted on the vase
Will turn its head
To watch you”

A painted bird
On a painted vase
Watches
A painted person
Sitting in front of a painted rock
So He Spoke

拋心尊者


把凡心
 
輕輕從指尖
 
拋棄

如飄落一片 
紅葉
 
於水中

The Arhat of Abandoning the Mind

He takes his mundane mind
Lightly with the tips of his fingers

And flicks it away
Down it floats like a lone
Red leaf
Into the water

賭氣尊者

把胸中各種鬱悶之氣 
用怨恨堵住
 
左擠右壓
 
壓擠成一塊塊
 
奇形怪狀的小石頭

然後從嘴巴裡連續吐了出來 
像不停攪動的水泥車一般
 
吐成一座堅固無比的大石洞
 
把自己層層包裹起來
 
南面稱王

 

The Arhat of Battling Anger
With hatred

He isolates all the smothering anger hidden inside him
Squeezing, pressing it into a little
Weird-shaped, strange-formed pebble

And then spits these from his mouth in a string
Just like a cement truck
Spits them out to form a solid stone grotto
Layer upon layer he wraps around himself
King upon his throne

好奇尊者

不知道 
哪一片葉子
 
是最後一片葉子

於是便站在這裡 
把自己搖成秋風中
 
第一棵枯樹

The Curious Arhat

I wonder
Which leaf
Is the very last lone leaf

So here I stand
In autumn’s wind swaying myself into
Its first barren tree

害羞尊者

我堅決認為且相信 
那綠籐背後
 
一定沒有
 
我所想要看的東西
 
絕對沒有

如果有一陣風突然吹來

吹開掩映的枝葉 
便會發現
 
籐裡籐外,空無一人
 
只有一朵暗紅的小花
 
靜靜的落在那裡

The Shy Arhat

I know and firmly believe
That behind those green vines
There certainly is not
Anything I would want to see
Absolutely not

If a gust of wind were suddenly to blow

Blow back those concealing branches and leaves
Then we would discover
Inside and out of those vines, not a soul
Just a cluster of small red flowers
Lying there in peace

還原尊者

在一棵莊嚴寶樹的觀照之下 
我慢慢靜了下來
 
坐在嶙峋的怪石之間
 
開始慢慢還原成
 
一片平淡無奇的山壁
 
一任青苔野籐
 
爬個滿身滿臉

The Arhat of Returning to Origins

Under the gaze of the August bodhi tree
Slowly I settle down
Sitting amidst those strange jagged rocks
Slowly starting to return to my origins
Just a plain, smooth mountain cliff
A riot of moss and wild vines
Climbing all over body and face

註: “俱舍論”二十五謂羅漢有六種,其一為退法羅漢,乃指“一旦得羅漢果,遇此惡緣,便退失所得者。”年來常見學生或友人有類似情形,輒有會心,因作此現代尊者冊頁。七位尊者(羅漢亦名尊者),代表佛家七情,依次為惡,憂,欲,怒,喜,愛,懼。 淨住子“淨行法門”“滌除三業門”有云: “檢七情務九思,思無邪,動必正。”現代人依此自修,或可修得正果。此冊最後一葉,以莊嚴寶樹為德行圓滿之象,以明天道順四時而自謝自發,圓通自足,不假外求,根原凡塵又超脫凡塵;而身體驅殼,則還原為山石,轉歸於永恆,與天地同存同滅而不朽。