dVerse Poetics: Open Link Night

Today at dVerse, Grace is Pubtender. It is Open Link Night which means we submit any one poem of our choice, any form, any subject. Come and read and find your new favorite poet. http://dversepoets.com/2016/08/11/open-link-night-177/

Sands and the River
I read the news today, oh boy…
monks are visiting Richmond
and creating a mandala at the Holocaust Museum
and then will dismantle the colored sands
and take them to the James to throw them
into the river to represent impermanence.
at first I thought, cool.
and then…..
impermanence, change, transience of things
Mujō 無常
mono no aware 物の哀れ
I don’t need visiting monks from Tibet
dressed in saffron robes to tell me of…impermanence.
The river certainly does not need them
with its water that rises and falls,
freezes and thaws and evaporates
nor does the fish in its depths being plucked
from the water and grasped in eagle’s claws
soon to be food for hungry babies
high in the tree in their one ton nest
as they squabble for breakfast.
I do not need them
as I see mujo woven in my life
and feel the clutch at my heart that
all things…change.
we all live a life of impermanence
feel the wistfulness at the passing of…things.
friends and family who die
the now empty grass under a crepe myrtle tree
the melting of snow
the garden growing from seed and sprouting
and bearing fruit and dying and being spread for composte.
the cicadas singing at night
and dying in the dawn – shells empty and bereft
under the dying pine.
we only need to live
to know…impermanence.
we need to live to feel
life moving through us
life moving on.

SamCat last year under crepe myrtle

SamCat last year under crepe myrtle

41 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Victoria Young
    Aug 11, 2016 @ 15:02:41

    This shows what a thinker you are and that you don’t take your life for granted. This is a very creative and original poem. I really enjoyed it.


  2. Dr. Crystal Howe
    Aug 11, 2016 @ 15:24:14

    The monks are like all of us – carriers and reminders of truth. We have a mind that needs reminders so we wake up and smell the coffee, or remember the impermanence. I like this; thanks for sharing it, Toni!


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 11, 2016 @ 16:17:30

      Thank you Dr. I think if we just look inside of ourselves and at life around us, we will be awake. Some of us sadly, will never awaken and just bumble through life, clueless.


  3. Sanaa Rizvi (@rizvi_sanaa)
    Aug 11, 2016 @ 15:38:18

    Oh! This is so beautifully emotive ❤


  4. Bodhirose
    Aug 11, 2016 @ 15:45:45

    Yes, I would say you have a firm grasp on impermanence, Toni. I’ve always enjoyed the demonstration by the monks of their beautiful sand mandalas that they so meticulously build and then destroy in an instant. A pretty profound lesson…if we need it. Beautiful, heartfelt words in this poem, Toni…and love seeing little SamCat under the crepe myrtle.


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 11, 2016 @ 16:16:02

      I enjoy watching them as well. The process is pretty and I am sure the message rings for those not in touch with themselves. Poor little SamCat is in heaven, part of that impermanence. A poignant photo for me as I walk past that tree every day to the mailbox. I think we all have a firm grasp on impermanence. We just need to look.


  5. scotthastiepoet
    Aug 11, 2016 @ 15:55:15

    Terrific spirit and knowingness suffused through this – just my kind of read… Thanks so much! Love your deeply felt and well crafted message. With Best Wishes


  6. Tim Schaefer
    Aug 11, 2016 @ 16:02:45

    Gotta say this is the best poem I’ve read on the topic–impermanence–which is always topical because, ironically, it’s the only thing we can count on.


  7. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Aug 11, 2016 @ 16:13:34

    Maybe coming to terms with impermanence has less to do with us than soil itself… but I guess finding our own way in this is what matters most. A wonderful piece Toni


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 11, 2016 @ 16:18:48

      Thank you. Good to have you back, writing and reading.


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 11, 2016 @ 21:56:31

      Thank you Bjorn. Nice bunch of guys actually and almost childlike in their joy. The Dalai Lama is also in town. I’ve been one of the ones chosen to cook for them. My big job is washing and cutting fruit. It’s been fun. It is just, as far as their message, I’m already there.


  8. Walter J. Wojtanik
    Aug 11, 2016 @ 17:32:35

    Such a descriptive poem. The imagery is vivid and the sentiment is impassioned. One of your best, Toni.


  9. lynn__
    Aug 11, 2016 @ 18:27:08

    Your evocative poem makes me feel “the clutch at my heart that all things…change”.


  10. K. McGee
    Aug 11, 2016 @ 19:16:58

    Life is a series of transitions, as you’ve so beautifully expressed. Much peace comes from understanding that all things are in flux – persuaded by the influence and the rhythms of all that is good (and bad) in the world of life (and death) that surrounds us.


  11. lifelessons
    Aug 11, 2016 @ 19:47:04

    I think that we all keep reminding each others of the same truths using different means and different words or actions. I am at an age where I remind myself daily of my impermanence, but it doesn’t keep me from living–rather emphasizes the importance of it.


  12. Victoria C. Slotto
    Aug 11, 2016 @ 20:21:20

    This is a theme I turn to so often–most likely influenced to some extent by Mary Oliver’s poetry and my own experience with death. Those mandalas are beautiful reminders for those who have not had the opportunity to know what we have seen.


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 11, 2016 @ 21:52:54

      It is and I’m not down on the sweet monks. Nice guys and peaceful. I am one of the folks that was chosen to cook for them. I have the grand job of washing and cutting fruit! The Dalai Lama is in town as well. They’re all very sweet guys. I just don’t need their lessons and fear those that do will never open their eyes and just bumble around. y’know?


  13. Nan Mykel
    Aug 11, 2016 @ 21:36:56

    True, no one needs to teach us about impermanence! I wonder how the monks would respond to this poem?


  14. ayala zarfjian (@ayalazarfjian)
    Aug 11, 2016 @ 21:56:02

    These lines are gorgeous!Kudos!


  15. maria
    Aug 11, 2016 @ 23:41:50

    “we need to live to feel
    life moving through us
    life moving on.”

    ~wise words, Toni. I couldn’t agree more.
    P.S. I also love the sound of cicadas singing at night. *smiles*


  16. Bryan Ens
    Aug 12, 2016 @ 14:01:34

    There is a beauty in impermanence…but also a sort of sorrow. Beautiful piece.


  17. freyathewriter
    Aug 13, 2016 @ 01:40:45

    Wonderful work. I’ve had that ‘I don’t need you to show me this’ thought about similar ‘installations’ myself.


  18. Maja (Business in Rhyme)
    Aug 13, 2016 @ 05:37:52

    very poignant piece that reinforces us to see what’s important to us, as yet anything is not permanent..


  19. Sherry Marr
    Aug 13, 2016 @ 12:18:52

    I really feel this poem, the flow of life continually changing and moving on………faster, now, as it churns me along to my end. This is a beautiful poem, to read and reflect upon.


  20. Susan Anderson
    Aug 13, 2016 @ 13:24:59

    Powerful, passionate, and true.


  21. kaykuala (@hankkaykuala)
    Aug 13, 2016 @ 21:18:54

    we all live a life of impermanence
    feel the wistfulness at the passing of…things.

    There are changes that affect us but life goes on. Very true Toni. One has to be adept at adapting to live life the fullest despite some distractions



  22. nikibayard
    Aug 14, 2016 @ 16:32:51

    ha ha, yes 🙂


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