Poetry: “Recommendation” by Thich Nhat Hanh
promise me this day,
promise me now,
while the sun is overhead
exactly at the zenith,
Even as they strike you down
with a mountain of hatred and violence;
even as they step on you and crush you like a worm,
even as they dismember and disembowel you,
remember, brother, remember:
man is not your enemy.
The only thing worthy of you is compassion —
invincible, limitless, unconditional.
Hatred will never let you face the beast in man.
One day, when you face this beast alone,
with your courage intact, your eyes kind, untroubled
(even as no one sees them),
out of your smile will bloom a flower.
And those who love you
will behold you
across ten thousands worlds of birth and dying.
I will go on with bent head,
knowing that love has become eternal.
On the long, rough road,
the sun and the moon
will continue to shine.
Banner photo: “Pumpkin” – friend Lacey’s bird