Life’s Foggy Path

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Oh life, your path is foggy
And every step so groggy,
We are lost in a daze,
Drifting in mist and haze!

We glide through the years
Filled with hopes and fears,
We wander without direction
In mazes leading to perdition,

Whence we came from,
We never care to know,
Where we are going,
We ruin by our foolish doing,

Like greedy flies we fly,
Guided by ire and desire,
Away from the warm respite
Of Dharma’s bright light!

Comment:

The inspiration for this poem came from the two illustrations above (from the Eastern version of the Inferno) which depicts the solid bridges (of gold, jade, silver, stone) crossed by virtuous souls on their way to a good rebirth (top picture), and the treacherous and foggy wooden bridge for those who have accumulated no merits but plenty of sin.

Moreover, another inspiration was the following passage:

“At that time, Earth Store Bodhisattva Mahasattva said to the Buddha, “World Honored One, I see that every single movement or stirring of thought on the part of beings of Jambudvipa is an offense. Beings tend to use up any wholesome benefits they accrue, and many of them end up retreating from their initial resolve. If they encounter evil conditions, they magnify them with every thought. They are like people trying to carry heavy rocks while walking through mud. Each step becomes more difficult and the rocks more cumbersome as their feet sink deeper. If they meet a mentor, he may be strong enough to lighten or even totally remove their burdens. Helping them thus, the mentor will then advise them to stay on solid ground and be mindful never to go back into that treacherous path.”

Source: Chp. 7 of Earth Store Sutra

Note: Chp. 7 of the Earth Store Sutra is a short but extremely important chapter that explains the process of dying, the 49 day grace period, and rebirth. I strongly recommend everyone familiarize themselves with it. 

For more info on managing death and rebirth, please read my Free and Public Domain translation of the Last Rites of Amitabha and my article Beagle Meets Amitabha:

PDF Download:last-rites-of-amitabha

Archive.org Version (Kindle, Pdf, Daisy…)

All poems, resources and post text released into Public Domain

Memento Mori: Twilight in Paradise

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The lament of an evil man on the eve of death:

“It is twilight in paradise 
And the end of my idle life
Of lavish pleasure is nigh.
My dreams benighted,
Crumbling before my eyes,
I sorely regret frittering away
Those calm prosperous days
Of youth, wealth and peace 
On plunder and wicked deeds,
Wrathful violence and conspiracies,
On fraud, libel and charlatanry,
And slender courtesans who steal
Lascivious glances and feelings.
Now I stand before the abyss,
Old, withered and ready to slip
From my blissful mortal coil,
And into the infernal boiling oil.
Alas! I now rue my failure to do
Even a single upright deed!”

Poem released into Public Domain

Comment:

I was inspired to write this poem by the excellent recent painting of the Eastern depiction of the Inferno (Diyu) by Upasaka Jiang Zi Yi.

A full annotated English captioned version (translated by amtb.cn) of the scroll is available here: painting-scenes-of-hell

Kindly edited into the above PDF form by Upasaka Jim of the Dharma Talks Blog:

http://www.neozen888.wordpress.com

It is an excellent blog filled with profound insight that I recommend all visit.

 

My Free Public Domain Poetry Chapbook: Poetic Commentaries

A perfect little book for delightful leisurely reads. Print out a poem set to art and frame  it up as decoration. Or, print and bind it as a small gift to friends and family.

 

PDF file:

poetic-commentaries

Interactive Online Version (and free download in pdf, kindle, daisy etc.):

https://archive.org/details/PoeticCommentaries

 

 

 

More Poems Inspired by Edward Hopper

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Midnight Coffee

Sweet and creamy

A bitter delight

Amidst the night

 

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When the sunlight basks my little hearth

It fills my weary soul

With a shimmer of hope

And as rays illume my room with warmth

I arise anew ; reborn once more

 

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Twilight before sunlight

The early morning

Cosy and eerie

Rises to greet

A world silent and still

 

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Evening falls but my

Day has just begun, for

I have the night shift, and

Whilst the world lumbers to

Slumber, dream and sleep

I work in blissful peace

To the tune of chirping

Crickets and cool breezes

Softly ruffling the leaves

 

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Her fair form adrift in reverie

A wealful delight for my eyes

Though my gazes are as deep as

Her musings and daydreams

I hide them along with all my stoic yearnings

In the shades of the gleaming light

 

All poems released into Public Domain

A Stranger’s Warmth

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I gaze out my window and see the same
Handsome house of someone I could not name.
A fair home adorned by a mellow lamp
That comes to life when day fades away and
Turns to cold autumn night. Though so simple,
The light which glows from his window sill and
Flows out to illume the louring night mist,
Moves me in ways words fail to illustrate.
We are strangers who know each other not,
But by mere chance, his light has warmed my heart.

 

Poem released into Public Domain.