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Poem for the day

adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran Veteran
edited March 14 in Arts & Writings

Labour is blossoming or dancing where
The body is not bruised to pleasure soul,
Nor beauty born out of its own despair,
Nor blear-eyed wisdom out of midnight oil.
O chestnut tree, great rooted blossomer,
Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?

— ‘Among School Children’, W. B. Yeats (1933)

Aristotle said the purpose of a pen is to write, the purpose of a human is “eudaimonia”. Translation: “blossoming”.

Line by line, I take the sentiment of this stanza, which is the last in the poem, to be:

1) and 2) Perform your work in this world with body and soul as one. (“Mind” does just as well as “soul” for those who prefer.)

3) Beauty is your nature, it doesn’t require any alteration.

4) Rest in your inherent wisdom, no need to stay up all night studying.

5) and 6) Just as no single part of the tree is the tree, so the self cannot be found in any single part of our experience, nor indeed in any convenient package of those parts. Thich Nhat Hanh has also used trees to teach this truth.

7) and 8) Yeats uses the perfect image to show just how inseperable person and action really are. When you do your work, be your work. This is mindfulness to me.

JeffreyfedericaShoshinmisecmisc1lobsterAlexDavid

Comments

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    The Small Boy and the Mouse by D H Maitreyabandhu
    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2009/oct/28/keats-shelley-buddhist-poet

    federica
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    I am the slave of passion and the slave of the Beloved.
    The fire of passion burns my heart
    And the One I love is in my mind.
    Passion has seized hold of the reins of my heart
    So wherever I turn my gaze
    Passion is facing me.

    http://www.ibnarabisociety.org/articles/addas1.html

    adamcrossley
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Melt yourself down in this search:
    venture your life and your soul
    in the path of sincerity;
    strive to pass from nothingness to being,
    and make yourself drunk with the wine of God.

    — Hakim Sanai, the Hadiqa: The Walled Garden of Truth

    lobsteradamcrossley
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Cheers @Kerome

    My legacy -
    What will it be?
    Flowers in spring,
    The cuckoo in summer,
    And the crimson maples
    Of autumn ...
    http://gardendigest.com/zen/quotes.htm

    adamcrossley
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I love the Persian Sufi poets, especially Rumi, Attar and Hakim Sanai. They just have a particular flavour which calls to me.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    BREATH OF LIFE
    By Danna Faulds

    I breathe in All That Is-
    Awareness expanding
    to take everything in,
    as if my heart beats
    the world into being.
    From the unnamed vastness beneath the mind,
    I breathe my way into wholeness and healing.
    Inhalation. Exhalation.
    Each Breath a “yes,”
    and a letting go, a journey, and a coming home.

    adamcrossley
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Abou Ben Adhem

    Leigh Hunt

    Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
    Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
    And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
    Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
    An angel writing in a book of gold:—
    Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
    And to the presence in the room he said,
    "What writest thou?"—The vision raised its head,
    And with a look made of all sweet accord,
    Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."
    "And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
    Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
    But cheerly still; and said, "I pray thee, then,
    Write me as one that loves his fellow men."

    The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
    It came again with a great wakening light,
    And showed the names whom love of God had blest,
    And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.

    Gets me every time.

    adamcrossleyJeffrey
  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran Veteran

    Thanks all! I’ve really appreciated these contributions. Would anyone care to offer a poem with some of their own commentary?

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    In all my daze
    I have wondered through cymbals
    Clanged past sleeping
    Until the Light came

    Silent, Empty, Dark

    And I swam with stilled currents
    Electrified and static
    Who New
    My days are All

    ?

    Kerome
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    “When your mother has grown older,
    When her dear, faithful eyes
    no longer see life as they once did,
    When her feet, grown tired,
    No longer want to carry her as she walks -

    Then lend her your arm in support,
    Escort her with happy pleasure.
    The hour will come when, weeping, you
    Must accompany her on her final walk.

    And if she asks you something,
    Then give her an answer.
    And if she asks again, then speak!
    And if she asks yet again, respond to her,
    Not impatiently, but with gentle calm.

    And if she cannot understand you properly
    Explain all to her happily.
    The hour will come, the bitter hour,
    When her mouth asks for nothing more.”
    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/16874/the-mother-a-poem

    <3

    KundoKeromeJeffreyDhammika
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    SELF-KNOWLEDGE
    AND a man said, Speak to us of Self–Knowledge.
    And he answered, saying:
    Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
    But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge.
    You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.
    You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.
    AND it is well you should.
    The hidden well–spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
    And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes. But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
    And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line. For self is a sea boundless and measureless.
    SAY not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth."
    Say not, "I have found the path of the soul." Say rather, "I have met the soul walking upon my path."
    For the soul walks upon all paths.
    The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed. The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.

    — Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

    federicaadamcrossleylobsterJeffrey
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    L-O-V-E 'The Prophet'...!

  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran Veteran

    Well, @Kerome, I think you win the prize for best offering so far ? ?

    Glad that this thread has borne fruit.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    The Guest House
    This being human is a guest house.
    Every morning a new arrival.

    A joy, a depression, a meanness,
    some momentary awareness comes
    As an unexpected visitor.

    Welcome and entertain them all!
    Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
    who violently sweep your house
    empty of its furniture,
    still treat each guest honorably.
    He may be clearing you out
    for some new delight.

    The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
    meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

    Be grateful for whoever comes,
    because each has been sent
    as a guide from beyond.

    ~Rumi~

    lobsterDhammika
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @federica said:
    L-O-V-E 'The Prophet'...!

    It’s out of copyright now, you can download a pdf for free...

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Thank you, but I have the book! Good to know though...

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Thanks all!
    I’ve really appreciated
    these contributions.

    Would anyone care
    to offer
    a poem with some
    of their own

    commentary?

    We are The Poem. B)

    federica
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran

    The Brain is just the weight of God-
    For - Heft them - Pound for Pound -
    And they will differ - if they do -
    As Syllable from Sound -
    ~Emily Dickinson

    adamcrossley
  • Lee82Lee82 Veteran Veteran

    Before, it was, then it wasn't.
    Before, it wasn't, then it was.
    It wasn't, won't be,
    & now isn't to be found.

    • Ahu Sutta: It Was
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    In your light I learned how to love.
    In your beauty how to compose.
    You dance within my heart,
    Where no-one can see.

    Yet sometimes I catch a glimpse.
    From that glimpse comes my art.

    — Rumi

    paulysolobster
  • DimmesdaleDimmesdale Explorer Illinois Explorer

    "Extra pounds won't stalk me from my past, so long as sometimes I declare a fast."

    • yeah, I made this up. Trying to lose weight X)
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Extra pounds
    stalk me passed
    I declare a slow fast
    Dance

    • yeah made up ... ;)
    Dimmesdale
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Why are people called Buddhas
    After they die?
    Because they don't grumble any more,
    Because they don't make a nuisance
    Of themselves any more.

    — Ikkyū

    adamcrossleylobster
  • GuiGui Veteran Veteran

    Between quietness and silence,
    Between emptiness and nothingness,
    Between darkness and void,
    Between stillness and stone,
    Peace abounds.

    -first thing I wrote after surviving a heart attack and flat-lining

    lobsteradamcrossleyShoshin
  • DhammikaDhammika Veteran Veteran

    Barn’s burnt down --
    now
    I can see the moon.

    ~ Masahide

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    I am neither here
    Nor am I to be found there
    Am I just a thought ?

    ~Haiku~

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran
    edited October 26

    I wandered lowly in a Cloud
    That dotes on hi om veils and wills
    When all At Once I saw A Crow
    A Ghost, of Golden Dildo Daffy;
    Beside the Lack, beneath the Bo
    Fluttering and Dancing In The Eeze.

    originally ...

    I wandered lonely as a Cloud
    That floats on high o’er vales and Hills,
    When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host, of golden Daffodils;
    Beside the Lake, beneath the trees,
    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

    Dhammika
  • DhammikaDhammika Veteran Veteran

    lobsterKerome
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @lobster said:
    I wandered lowly in a Cloud
    That dotes on hi om veils and wills
    When all At Once I saw A Crow
    A Ghost, of Golden Dildo Daffy;
    Beside the Lack, beneath the Bo
    Fluttering and Dancing In The Eeze.

    originally ...

    I wandered lonely as a Cloud
    That floats on high o’er vales and Hills,
    When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host, of golden Daffodils;
    Beside the Lake, beneath the trees,
    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

    Wordsworth's version was one of the very first* poems I ever memorised, as a just-teen-schoolgirl; without need or prompting, for no other reason that I loved it so. I remember it still...

    I don't feel though, that I could ever do @lobster's version the proper justice it merits....

    (*The other, being Shakespeare's 'Winter'....)

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    A Meal Of Fresh Octopus

    Lots of arms, just like Kannon the Goddess;
    Sacrificed for me, garnished with citron, I revere it so!
    The taste of the sea, just divine!
    Sorry, Buddha, this is another precept I just cannot keep.

    — Ikkyū

    adamcrossleylobster
  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    A Meal Of Fresh Octopus

    Lots of arms, just like Kannon the Goddess;
    Sacrificed for me, garnished with citron, I revere it so!
    The taste of the sea, just divine!
    Sorry, Buddha, this is another precept I just cannot keep.

    — Ikkyū

    Ok I’m calling it. @lobster is Ikkyū reincarnated.

    federicaKeromelobster
  • DimmesdaleDimmesdale Explorer Illinois Explorer

    Once in a forest red and yellow
    Did a bear strut up and down and bellow:
    “Who but I can eat this honey sweet,
    Preserved from all manner of defeat.”
    A wayward crow did o’er-hear
    And quickly on the honeycomb did peer.
    She wondered: “Who is this beast that doth yell,
    Pompous, rude and loud as a bell?
    Stealing the bees’ hard work in surfeit
    As though he alone were worth it?”
    Flying she visited her violet crew
    And rightly expressed her bitter view.
    In the midst of the heated cawing,
    A plan was formed with insight dawning.
    Thus it was arranged for them to take
    The mushrooms by the shores of the lake
    To forthwith poison the bear’s water well,
    And by gradation cause his brains to swell.

    lobsterJeffrey
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    As I awake to face another day
    Monkey mind comes out to play
    Yak yak yak, it never stops
    Oh I wish I had some knockout drops

    Then I remember what I've been taught
    About the pesky annoying thought
    It's really not who I am
    It's just neuropathway spam

    adamcrossley
  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran Veteran
    edited October 28

    Very nice, @Shoshin. However, as an English graduate it’s my solemn duty to do this:

    I wake to face another day
    And monkey mind comes out to play.
    Yak yak yak, it never stops.
    I wish I had some knockout drops.

    Then I recall what I've been taught
    About the peskiness of thought:
    It isn’t who I really am;
    It's just some neural pathway spam.

    (Iambic tetrameter)

    I’m happy not to be credited though. All rights remain yours ;)

    federicaLee82Shoshin
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Aaaah! A person after my own heart! Such judicious and apposite amendment! * swoon * !!

    adamcrossleylobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Those who look down upon this world
    will surely take hold and try to change things
    But this is a plan
    I’ve always seen fail
    The world is Tao’s own vessel
    It is perfection manifest
    It cannot be changed
    It cannot be improved
    For those who go on tampering, it’s ruined
    For those who try to grasp, it’s gone
    Allow your life to unfold naturally
    Know that it too is a vessel of perfection

    — Tao Te Ching, verse 29

    adamcrossley
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    My apologies...English is my second language....Cockney is my native tongue ;) ;) :)

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    saw a spook a spying me
    a ghoul a geek, bearing gifts
    welcome in mind sucker, have my fear
    and shalom
    they were toast

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