Southern Zen (the mockingbird song)

Lucky Mud
Mike McKinney


I studied Zen back in the late 60's and every self-proclaimed teacher told me the same story. When asked what he did today, the Zen master said, "I chopped wood. I carried water." Being a Southerner, I knew the story couldn't stop there. So, I embellished.


I chopped wood

I carried water

I burned the wood

Just to boil the water

Threw in some collards

And some fatback ham

Made up a little cornbread

In the frying pan

Fried up some okra

Made some blackeyed peas

Brewed about a gallon

Of sweet iced tea

Took it out to the front porch

Sat in the swing

Closed my eyes

Let the day go by A

nd I listened to the mockingbird sing



The mockingbird Is a funny looking bird

Just an ordinary grey

The mockingbird

Don't do much as a bird

He just sits around all day

The mockingbird

Ain't a pretty bird

No bright colors

In his wings

But everybody stops

What they're doing

When he sing, sing, sings


Yellow sand

And bright red clay

Come together

In a beautiful way

With the long-leaf pines

And that flat, flat land

It looks like heaven

From where I stand

It's where I was born

And where I was raised

I know the people

And I know their ways

From Pensacola

To the Florida Keys

You can close your eyes

Let the day go by

And listen to the mockingbird sing


Mud Music

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