Friday, May 7, 2010


After the Flower Sermon,
Ananda Addresses the Forest


The green twig of Buddha
and the dead brown branch of Buddha-
surely, He is everywhere.
Blessed is the sunlight
and blessed the dark where the trail ends.

The lizard shimmering on the cedar log
is Buddha, and the dead squirrel by the path.
Even the fallen flower and the path's stones.

The gray lark that preaches: Even in death
we are in life.

Blessed the slender bamboo
and the stout,
the long body of Buddha
and the short.
Blessed His abundance everywhere!

The swallows diving in the air
and the ants that climb in martial line
cannot escape enlightenment,
for one day's sunlight is their prayer.

The stumbling beetle that pushes
the diamond-body of his dung
and the great owl that shouts in daylight
are the Enlightened One. And the firefly
and the owl's downy-winged mate,
certain as the stream-brightened stones,
as the shaded moss where the path begins.

- by David Manning, an organic chemist, poet and North Carolina resident

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