More Aphorisms by Eric Nelson

Eric Nelson, whom you may recall from this 2009 post, is back with some more of his haiku-like aphorisms. Some of these sayings have unmistakeable Zen overtones, such as the aphorism below about the green mountain. Yet others, like the one about chickens and hawks, are much more in the proverbial tradition. An interesting combination, since Zen-like aphorisms tend towards the paradoxical while proverbs are much more matter-of-fact, a mix that gives these poems/haikus/koans/aphorisms a tinge of Eastern mysticism along with a dollop of Mid-Western (or maybe Southern?) plainspeaking.

In the gray brain nothing
Is black or white.

The dead know nothing,
The only thing
You can’t imagine.

A thousand shades of green
Make the mountain
A singular green.

Whether you see them or not
Stars are always there,
Always falling.

If you’ll have chickens
Expect hawks.