New Year Poem

From Zen Master Seung Sahn 1980

Every year, every year,
New year, new year.
Every year, every year,
Old year, old year.

Old year gone…. New year.
New year gone… Old year.

Who made that?
You? I? We? They?
No, no, no!
Then God? Buddha? Time? Space?
No, no, no!
Then the sun? The moon?, The earth? The stars?
No, no, no!
Then the mountain? The river? The tree? The flower?
No, no, no!
Then the elephant? The dog? The cat? The mouse?
No, no, no!
Then, “Three pounds of flax?”
“Dry shit on a stick?”
No, no, no!

Then what?

The snow sparkles in the dawn.
In the morning 1972 plus 8.

(From The Kwan Um School of Zen)