Poem: The Marching Band

mb64-TheMarchingBand1 For the longest time now I’ve tried to march to my own drum, Attempted to make music From a lonely bumbumbum. The sound was very timid, Most days I forgot to play, And there were even moments I thought, “Sure I’ll throw this drum away...”

Until I met a wise man, he Knowing more than I could understand, Who said “Pick up your own drum there And join the marching band.” And in this band I found a sound I’d never heard before— The harmony of playing with A hundred drummers more. The peace of hearing a friend’s song On days I forgot to sing, The joy of finding music In everyone and everything. And I can keep my own tip tap Still hear my bumbumbums, But oh! The strength, the power, the love Of a hundred thousand drums!

—Dairíne Bennett

mb64-TheMarchingBand2Dairíne Bennett, twenty-two years old, is from Dublin, Ireland, and has just completed her degree in English literature in Trinity College Dublin. She is currently working in The Irish Landmark Trust and hopes to be a writer. Through a series of wonderful coincidences, she came across Thich Nhat Hanh two years ago, and his teachings on mindfulness are having the most wonderful effect on her life. 

Editors’ note: This poem was sent to the Mindfulness Bell by Brandon Rennels, Wake Up Coordinator, who wrote: “I wanted to send along a poem that one of the Wake Up participants wrote during our weekend retreat in Ireland. Dairíne shared it during the tea ceremony at the end of the retreat. We all felt it summed up our experience quite well.”

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