MESSAGE TO MISERY
from the Venerable ThÝch Quảng Độ
not menace me again!
have known you too well! Enough!
have met you on all my life's roads rough;
each time I meet you anywhere,
always smile a smile so fair
look you straight in the face without dread.
you really are more awesome than Death,
with me, you are nothing
not fancy it, that I fear you, to befall
that I should damp my righteous zest
lower my head before you, inhuman pest!
continue to persecute me to carry out your plan:
have pledged not to regret my illusionary life span.
you hear among the world's moving stream
swift waves of impermanence's scream?
not pride yourself being unduly victorious
the corpses of humans unfortunate but meritorious!
grossly stupid and coarse,
know nothing besides your force,
then you laugh at devastation and ruin.
music you listen to is lament, bewail, chagrin!
tea you taste teardrops of the wretch,
wine you sip fresh blood of your victims' fetch,
curtain you hang like many a mourning headband
writhing people you trample down and brand!
and starvation follow each of your steps,
and shackles where you come it schleps;
cover with darkness all paths to futurity;
naive fetuses, unborn babies, cherubs,
aborted by you using overpopulation as cover-ups.
you hear the complaints against your savagery
are resounding from cities to the countryside,
islands to mountainous areas nationwide,
from graves by souls of victims of gross injustice?
you aware? that on the earth's surface
will be nowhere
the deep sea as well as in the thin air
you to find a long-term shelter thither to scoot
escape, when is duly ripe every fruit!
that day will definitely come as in a daze
humanity awakes from this current maze.
Vu Doai Village, on the Buddha's Birthday in 1982
Translation by THANH-THANH