Monday, September 24, 2012

Ran Across This Timeless Poem

/ Photo by AlicePopkorn /
Please Call Me by My True Names
Thich Nhat Hanh, Thich Nhat Hanh poetry, Buddhist, Buddhist poetry, Zen / Chan poetry, [TRADITION SUB2] poetry,  poetryby Thich Nhat Hanh
(1929 - ) Timeline
Original LanguageEnglish
Buddhist : Zen / Chan

Don't say that I will depart tomorrow --
even today I am still arriving.

Look deeply: every second I am arriving
to be a bud on a Spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
to fear and to hope.

The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death
of all that is alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing
on the surface of the river.
And I am the bird
that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily
in the clear water of a pond.
And I am the grass-snake
that silently feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks.
And I am the arms merchant,
selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl,
refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean
after being raped by a sea pirate.
And I am the pirate,
my heart not yet capable
of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo,
with plenty of power in my hands.
And I am the man who has to pay
his "debt of blood" to my people
dying slowly in a forced-labor camp.

My joy is like Spring, so warm
it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.
My pain is like a river of tears,
so vast it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and my laughter at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart
can be left open,
the door of compassion.


-- from Call Me by My True Names: The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh, by Thich Nhat Hanh      

Absorbing the world at the same time:

 Orphaned girl starts university in Zimbabwe at 14 -*

 Ancient site needs saving not destroying -*

In Niger, child marriage on rise due to hunger - Yahoo! News
Each day before the reaping, the 11-year-old girl walked between the stunted stalks of millet with a sense of mounting dread.

For India's Children, Philanthropy Isn't Enough 

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