Poetry


Buddhadasa bw05121  %28large%29

Remembering The Hornbill


Chatty Lord Hornbill ... kruk ... krik ...
pecking my back as if to scratch it.

All the times you threw my sandals around
playing, dragging, shoving them about like a tractor.

Now you've died, gone and left us
after landing on a high power transformer.

One foot burnt to a crisp, your last breath
no peacock's screech could compare.

The hearts of everyone who knew you
skipped a beat when they got the news.

No matter how or where, whoever dies
having lived virtuously can't really sadden anyone.

❖      

Hey, It Can Change!


Whatever must be done, do it joyfully,
No need for even a hair's breath of suffering.
Why foolishly gnaw on life like an old bone, 
Making human birth nothing but misery!

Incompetent at adjusting one's mind to the facts,
Making life torture and assassinating the joy
One ought to find every moment everywhere.
Roasting oneself to a crisp — what fun is that?

Come on folks, give this some intelligent thought:
This human birth, in what way is it any good?
It ought to be good at freedom from suffering — 
Suffering itself will never amount to anything of value.

     

Suanmokkh c06728

A Real Blessing That Works


May the Virtues of the Buddha
The highest refuge without doubt
Protect all of you dedicated
To practicing the true path devoutly.

May the Virtues of the Dhamma
Which overcomes dukkha 
Protect all of you determined
To practice in line with the Dhamma.

May the Virtues of the Sangha
That walks the path beautifully
Protect all of you aiming
To follow the path securely and true.

     

Shamed By Kittens


Born, we're afraid to die, so shamed by kittens, 
whose lively eyes sparkle with joyful peace,
never thinking foolishly like us, who tremble 
day and night struggling to insure against death.

The more we think, the more we suffer and imbed fear, 
compounding our suffering with layers of confusion.
Getting older, we worry even more, drafting friends 
and cronies to pray against death, yet keeping our fear.

How to conquer death never crosses such minds, 
carrying on mindlessly, a silly sight to behold, 
being Buddhist yet clutching at their “selves,”
 
hearts quaking in dread of death — shamed by kittens.

❖      

Sd02450 %28large%29

Fish Don't See Water


It's always been that fish never see the water
Flowing over their eyeballs day & night.

However you try there's no way to make
A fish see water — O, you Fish!

Human fish pass through the world the same way.
Has there ever been one who saw

The world clearly just as it is, without 
getting caught in the world's tricky net?

The word
see is taken in many ways;
Fools claim to see even a single hair.

Why don't they see this disease infested world?
If you wonder, ponder well, these fishy matters.

❖      

 Oh, Mother Life


Life is what struggles eternally
For the undying realm of happiness 
Yet now, still needs some support 
Namely, food, fight, and procreation.

Falling for the charms of food, fun, & fame, 
Subjects human beings to all kinds of stress. 
Their superiority to animals is most miraculous
In how much more enslaved by sensual fluff.

Having achieved this level of life we carry on
Passing beyond minor and major defilements 
Till reaching life's timeless-complete end, 
In harmony with
God — entering Nibbana.

    

The More Learning, The More Stupid


The world today is encyclopedically foolish, 
because of texts heaped upon us to death's door, 
all these books, papers, journals, and the rest 
as we outdo each other in overflowing the libraries. 

With scriptures flooding their heads till they waddle, 
knowledge flooding their hearts most pitifully, 
weary scholars washed out by their studies, 
a world staggering without the light of Dhamma. 

The more learning the more stupid, it's hard to believe, 
but the simple matter is ridiculously thus, 
learning only what pulls the mind into more karma
fondling sensuality, raving mad about status & fame. 

Lots of play, eating too much, excessive money, 
babbling speech, indulgent veterans in obscenity, 
whoever upsets is joyfully cursed all day long — 
yet they think this gravely malignant ignorance is good.

     

Cats Never Brush Their Teeth


Have you noticed? Cats lack toothbrushes
but their mouths never stink like those of dogs.
They eat raw flesh & smelly food just the same
but their magic mouths don't smell like doggy breath.

Our own human mouths, if we fail to brush
or chew betel nut till they're red as a plum
Will stink to heaven even worse than an ogre's
everyone knows this dearly in their hearts.

Wouldn't it be good if we savored the
Dhamma
Lozenge”
all day long and late into the night?
Our mouths will be fresh & fragrant from deep within.
If this isn't true, then come curse me to death.

❖      

Where Is Value?


A sheet of paper worth only pennies
once decorated with noble characters
of Dhammic meaning in good style
has a value beyond estimation.

A mere souvenir notebook given away free
tho' empty is fought over by grasping fools, 
while the sage in search of truth knows 
paper only has value where Dhamma is written.

Even discarded, crumpled wrapping paper
has value from what, do you know?
Even a rotting body fondled by a foolish spouse,
once with Dhamma stops rotting — no more tears!

❖      

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.*

❖      

(*) Nibbanam paramam sukham means Nibbana is the supreme happiness.

C04976

Lovely Work


In fact, this work is lovely:
Before we understand it, we complain,
Unknowing, we avoid it and hide,
Even moan that it is boring.

But truly, this work is lovely:
Teaches people to understand every thing,
The more we work, the smarter we are,
Plunging into difficult things the heart grows.

This work, if you really look, is lovely:
It pulls in Dhamma most praiseworthy,
That is, mindfulness, zeal, and their mates.
When we stop to rest the mind is free — the way to Nibbana.

❖      

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.

❖      

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