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A Poem by Thich Nhat Hanh…

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Please Call Me by My True Names

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

I am a 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 laughter at once,
so I can see that my joy and my pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,

so I can wake up and the door of my heart could be left open,
the door of compassion.
Five quotes by Thich Nhat Hanh

A poem about something…

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Open-Closed; Inside-Outside

I yelled at someone recently.

Yes.

It is true, as odd as it may seem.

I used my outside voice.

Inside.

Told him to shut the fuck up.

Seriously.

Which closed the door to my heart.

To compassion.

This hurt him, no doubt.

But also me.
And others as well.

Viewing life with a closed heart,

is like looking through a tiny pigeon hole.

Pointed only at me.

Life becomes incredibly narrow.

Small.

Monochrome.

But when viewed with an open heart.

A compassionate heart.

Everything expands.

Full bloom in multicolor.

Unexplainable largeness.

I need to apologize.

I need to forgive.

Him and me.

I need to fling my doors wide open.

And use my inside voice.

A poem and a picture…

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Awaken


Sometimes,

when I think everything is going along as planned,

it’s not.


Sometimes,

when I feel I’m becoming more self-aware,

I’m not.


It’s self-righteousness.


Sometimes,

I forget to feel.

To really feel.

To look around.

To look at what’s right in front of me.


Sometimes,

when things are going smoothly

there is roughness ahead.


Sometimes,

things are a test.

A test of morals.

A test of character.

A test of faith.


Sometimes; sometimes,

sometimes…


I’m really asleep.


But it is love.

Passion.

Compassion.


These things awaken me;

make me alive.


Sometimes,

it comes unexpectedly 

and in unlikely ways.


And yet sometimes,

it scares me,

makes me uncomfortable.


But this is good.


It gives me hope.

A poem about eating popcorn…

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Eating Popcorn in the East Village


Drinking beer in a small East Village bar

I met an attorney

From Australia

An Australian esquire

Emma

That was her name

She seemed sad and arrogant at the same time

They are one-in-the-same, I suppose

Then

I left

After too much beer

I needed to pee

Then

I had to purchase something

to use the store’s scummy little bathroom

A small bag of popcorn

That’s what I bought

It cost 69 cents

It was night now

And I ate it while walking down Third Avenue

So this is how it came to be

That I ate popcorn in the East Village

While walking down the street

And thinking of Emma