800. Dialogue in a Dream, by Ryokan

Begging food, I went to the village.
On the road I met a wise old teacher.
He asked, "Monk, why are you living
among the white shrouded peaks?"
In return I asked him, "Why are you
growing old in the midst of the city's dust?"
We were each about to answer, but neither had
spoken before the bell shattered my dream.

(trans Dennis Maloney and Hide Oshiro)

Source: Between the Floating Mist: Poems of Ryokan

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