from “The Great Lion’s Roar” ~ by Thich Nhat Hanh

“…That gun is not to be blamed.
That hand is not to be blamed.
That bullet and that flower!
The plants are nurtured so that flowers bloom.
There are thorns to hurt you.
There are caterpillars that eat up the young stems,
caterpillars the color of emerald.
Your crystal clear tears
are of the same nature
as the drops of muddy water
on the roots of these plants.
What can I say?
Laughing sounds dumb.
Crying also sounds dumb.
Not laughing and not crying still sound dumb.
Laughing, laughing, crying, crying
more flowers should bloom for life.

In the world of men,
flowers are authentically flowers.
The flowers of thoughts
embrace time and space,
transcend the two extremes,
transcend matter and speed,
transcend matter and transformation.

O the smile of awakening
O the smile of strangeness
O the smile of persuasion
O the smile of great compassion.”

*

lotus flower
Lotus, by George Lu

~ from Call Me by My True Names: The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press. p. 158.

Image: Lotus, taken in a park in Chengdu city, Sichuan, China. George Lu.

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