Poetry


Body Odors - Cats - Dogs - People


In nature, cats never take baths,
they're way too afraid of water;
Yet we all know they never stink,
While dogs can really prick our noses.

Whether they bathe or not, dogs still stink.
Compared with cats they are rather silly.
But what of people, that's the real issue:
Sometimes they stink far worse than any dog.

So we spend fortunes on perfumes & fragrances,
Uncountable resources wasted without a care.
Never daring to bathe in the stream of Dhamma,
That alone washes away the worst odors for life.

* * *

Bw00295 %28medium%29 %28large%29

I Work More Than I Can Bear


I work more than I can bear, but  
     am happy hearted enough to leap and dance. 
This is because my mind thinks and aims 
     only to live in line with the Dhamma, 
Wherever the causes and conditions lead, 
     according to the karma I laid down in former moments. 
To die is like a pause from work, 
     to sleep for a night, to rest for a time; 
With the new dawn, I take up the work 
     vigorously carrying on the work left over from before. 
The new day is a new birth, these two are the same: 
     born with the day and dying at night, 
As the waves of the samsaric cycles create   
     the myriad products that soothe and comfort our hearts. 
Whoever wishes for joy and bliss must know  
     that it depends on the one who can see joy for himself. 
As for me, there is no meaning beyond 
     the fact that I was born only to work 
According to conditions, so that myself and others 
     will know the world, conquer it, and vanquish sorrow. 
Nature created us perfectly, physically and mentally 
     thriving — boundless thanks to Nature! 
Although we are created for birth, decay, and death, 
     yet Nature gives me the chance to vie 
Struggle, and contend in all duties to break ahead 
     in order to reach the end before anyone else. 
While friends encourage each other to lie around, 
     I am working hard as if they were chasing behind. 
The duties of life that besiege constantly 
     are like debts ever piling up on top of me 
Blocking my way almost like a whirlpool, 
     when will I pass beyond and find the place of freedom and peace? 
From here to Nibbana we must pass through  
     the checkpoint which is the work of our lives 
This Law is more certain than any scales; 
     no matter how skilled, no one can escape this rule. 
For this reason, in any activity that 
     aims for the benefit of others or oneself 
We should hurry, struggle, and strive  
     to make it beautiful and work off our debt to Nature. 
Until the heart’s attachments to all things  
     weaken, dissolve, and fade away 
So that wisdom sees directly that greed, anger, 
     and delusion are finished and samsara stopped. 
Hurry friends, don't be late! 
     Whatever work you may meet, tackle it immediately. 
Much work may bring a faster death, 
     but it rolls along towards the final rest, just the same. 

* * *

"Sirivayasa"
13 February 1938
[translated by Santikaro Bhikkhu] 

Bw01629 %28medium%29

Frightening Stuff


So what in the world is most frightening?
I've looked everywhere, there's nothing at all!

If so, is there anything frightening in people?
I'm immeasurably afraid of my own stupidity!

Don't you mean afraid of other people's stupidity?
That's no trouble if our own doesn't resist!

Isn't the stupidity of criminals something scary?
If we aren't stupid they won't dare anything!

Aren't you afraid of suffering birth, illness, aging, and death?
They burn us because we're so enormously foolish!

Do you mean we'll never suffer if never stupid?
I'm certain. Fear only our own big, fat stupidities!

* * *

How To Get What You Want?


Want to stop being foolish?
Then examine everything carefully. 

Want Dhammic religion? 
Then be tolerant and patient. 

Want to realize the fruits of the path? 
Then don't create any 'self.' 

Want to be happy everywhere?
Then share, aid, and support others.

Want to honor your parents? 
Don't abandon the family's duties. 

Want to be rich in goodness? 
Don't do anything obsessively. 

Want not to waste this human birth? 
Then know how to be truly human. 

Want to be cool?
Then bathe in the Dhamma.

Want to finish off karmic retribution? 
Must have no 'me' or 'mine' left. 

Not want any suffering to remain? 
Must make it all free-void-empty.

Want to finish it once and for all? 
Must realize remainderless quenching. 

Want happiness without any pain?
Must Nibbanam paramam sukham.*

* * *

* Note: Nibbanam paramam sukham means 
Nibbana is the supreme happiness.

Listen, You Anger Experts


Still getting angry? Stupidly, maliciously out-of-control? 
Just because of grasping "me" anger cruelly erupts within.
Without any "me" to cherish or wish for any kind of thing, 
how could you get angry at anyone? Please consider!

This is reason enough to keep a lid on this nasty "me." 
Don't let it give birth to itself as a seductive ghost, 
possessing your heart till it's all messed up with "me,"
throwing tantrums and wreaking havoc on loved ones. 

The tree of anger is deliciously sweet at its base 
but most bitter poison overflows at the extremes. 
Regard me kindly, please gather round and listen, 
don't risk doing business with anger's severe punishment.

*   *   *

Better For Being Cursed


Isn't it funny that I'm much better for being reviled?
It delights me the more that they curse me.
No matter how badly they lay into me, I don't mind.
Don't worry, things aren't as bad as they claim.

Whoever has something good, others will envy. 
They'll look for something to pick apart and despise,
Once their mouths tire they'll clam up on their own.
As they get noisier, I challenge them to revile at will!

I'm someone who has benefited from being cursed.
All their nasty words have turned into blessings.
However they revile none of it turns out to be true,
So I get all the benefits of their curses, isn't it fun?!

*   *   *

Materialism: the Most Dangerous Cat


"How scary!" the mousecub says of the rooster's face,
while it finds the cat's soft cuddly face "lovely."

Mother mouse scolds her cub, "don't be foolish,
it's the cat that's dangerous, the chicken is harmless.

The charming cat's face for us is so wicked
it means your death, you'd better learn that fast."

Even we clever humans, so talented and skillful,
fall straight into into our own demise shamelessly.

Our hearts inflamed, we worship materialism,
sinking the world in a deadly mire of blood-money.

That's above all else is the face of great danger
the wicked "cat" that tears humanity to shreds.

*   *   *

Buddhadasa %28301%29 %28medium%29

Mocking Sky, Daring Earth


Earth and sky only give birth to Ego, 
Endlessly deflating & inflating with evil & good 
Never allowing even a moment's rest
As if dying within itself throughout the world.

For we lay down to die within their frame 
Surrounding oneself with aimless desires 
Pushed by the perverse power of ignorance
Because earth & sky squeeze & wring the heart.

Wanting nothing to do with them, I prefer voidness,
Not letting anything control heart and mind
Where's the value in good & evil, sky & earth, 
When I have no need for a moment of Ego.

*   *   *

Bigger than a Mountain


What can we do to be bigger than a mountain?
Oh, do it just by killing off craving!

Is it a matter of the mind or of wisdom?
Oh, they both have to work together surely!

Regarding the mind, what is its duty?
Oh, use its mighty strength bigger than a mountain!

And how about the duty of wisdom?
It slices right through like lightening!

How are they able to combine their power?
Oh, they make a sword both heavy and sharp!

And for what reason are we bigger than mountains?
With craving destroyed and poison removed, mind is boundless. 

* * *

Discussing Dhamma


Well, Brother, do you have any Dhamma to discuss?
Babbling all the time, lil' bro', you'll go crazy!

For what reasons do you say such a thing?
Dhamma is here to be practiced!

If we don't study, then how can we practice?
Infatuated with studies you'll only get stuck!

Shouldn't we ask questions according to our doubts?
You think an obsessive questioner can grasp the Dhamma!

You mean discussions and debates are worthless?
Merely the celebrations of those who boast until dawn!

How then can we appreciate Dhamma's profundity?
Catch all the angles and tricks of dukkha every time!

* * *

The Demon in Delicious


For what reason is the world as hot as sleeping in fire?
Just because it doesn't have any coolness, of course!

For what reason, dear brother, is coolness lacking?
For the simple reason that people love heat before coolness.

I beg of you, tell me, why do they love heat so much more?
Because they think hot stuff is more delicious, they can't see!

When, then, will our hearts ever fall in love with coolness?
When we recognize the demonic side of all the hot stuff!

What must we do to see the demon in delicious things?
Listen to your parents, just a bit, from when you're young!

What if our parents don't understand any better than us?
Then, heat will teach you after it's burned you to a crisp!

* * *

Do Good & the Spirits Won't Laugh


Hey, tell me, how does one do good?
Do good by keeping the spirits from laughing at you!

What about these spirits, what are they anyhow?
They are neither good nor evil, but they have eyes!

How can spirits know what's good and evil?
Just stray from your humanity, they'll call you crazy!

Don't tease, what do laughing spirits have to do with it?
Because people are likely to be sorry for a long time!

Why do spirits bother to ridicule us anyway?
They want all of us, and themselves, to give up evil!

You mean we must be good till the spirits "Amen"?
If you do, they won't trick you and you can laugh!

* * *

Displaying poems 37 - 48 of 62 in total