Monday, October 19, 2009

REBIRTH

MESSAGE

Life has left her footprints on my forehead
but I have become a child again this morning,
The smile, seen through leaves and flowers, is back, to smooth
away the wrinkles
as the rains wipe away footprints on the beach. Again a
cycle of birth and death begins.

I walk on thorns, but firmly, as among flowers.
I keep my head high.
Rimes bloom among sounds of bombs and mortars.
The tears I shed yesterday have become rain,
I feel calm hearing its sound on the thatched roof.
Childhood (o my birthland!) is calling me
and the rain melts my despair.

I am still here alive, able to smile quietly. The sweet fruit
brought forth by the tree of sufferings!
Carrying the dead corpse of my brother, I go across the rice-field
in the darkness.
Earth will keep thee tight within her arms, dear one,
so that tomorrow thou wilt be reincarnated in flowers -
those flowers smiling quietly in this morning field.
This moment you weep no more, dear one - we have gone through
too deep a night!

This morning, yes, this morning, I kneel down on the green grass
when I feel your presence.
O flowers which carry the smile of ineffability!
The message
the message of love and sacrifice
has indeed come to us.

poem by
NHAT HANH

drawing by
VO-DINH

IN MEMORIAM: Vietnam 1961 - 1973

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