Friday, April 15, 2016

Lungpaw Poems

In my first two years retired in Northeastern Thailand (2012 and 2013), our head monk Lungpu Boonlong wrote two poems he directed at me. In fact, I believe they were written specifically for me. My wife wasn’t entirely happy with my translations. However, I think they get the jist of what Lungpu was trying to convey, although not with the proper poetic form which is so highly regarded in Thai poetry. So that they are not lost, I am adding them here, now:

(Lungpaw Boon Long speaking and Lungpu Shy meditating on what's being said, 2014)

Dear My Friend

Poem by Lungpu Boon Long
May 2012 / 2555

I went out so far
Looking for happiness.
I walked far in search of it
And had many problems along the way.

A long time ago,
When I left the village where I was born,
I went to many cities
Looking for happiness outside of me.

Dear My Friend,
It’s not the same as I thought.
It’s very different.
Reality is always different
Than what we imagine.

Inside the cities,
I thought everyone had fun and peace.
But, I found everyone was fighting.

Today, I can see
Happiness can be anywhere
When people share and give,
In all situations
Thereby be true friends.

Walk With Good People

A Poem by Lungpu Boon Long
May 2013 / 2556

Clouds covered the sky.
I sat down from walking,
feeling very tired.
My fellow monks were tired, too.
I wondered,
“Why are we struggling so hard?”

The sky grew dark,
As doubts grew strong.
It is times like this,
That negative thoughts thrive.
Innermost mindfulness is required.

Yet, I still could not stop asking:
“Why are we struggling so hard?”

A ray of light broke through the clouds.
I could see it shine on the rice farmers below.
My people, the ones I care about;
The ones I teach
And try to bring closer to Buddha.

I knew then
That all problems
-- including my tiredness --
Can evaporate
In the presence of Good People.

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