From the recording Southern Zen

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