Poem: Thien Mu

By Larry Ward mb40-Thien1

Around the bend of the Perfume River Our Dragon Boat took time Above steep ancient stone steps Stood a golden pagoda constructed by an Emperor, Silently resting on the earth Seven levels reaching for the sky

Surprised with its simplicity, grace, and beauty The grounds, the temple, the sound of the big bell still echoes in my heart Touching the earth three times In touch with my breath In touch with my heart In touch with my devotion

The old blue Austin that Thich Quang Duc rode That day in Saigon 1963 A vehicle for offering his life Engulfed in flames perfect peace, lotus in a sea of fire Compassion speaks

The Bonsai trees laugh at my notions of age Surrounded by the living graves of ancestors The Temple and pine trees, Thousands had gathered here for a day with Thay A striking view of Hue A red tea house peaks at me through the jackfruit trees A gentle smiling monk

I make this pilgrimage three times Who knew? I would be So moved By quiet love

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