friday feast: for a change, some good news

“The source of love is deep in us and we can help others realize a lot of happiness. One word, one action, one thought can reduce another person’s suffering and bring that person joy.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

This moment is for you.

by Thich Nhat Hanh

They don’t publish
the good news.
The good news is published
by us.
We have a special edition every moment,
and we need you to read it.
The good news is that you are alive,
and the linden tree is still there,
standing firm in the harsh Winter.
The good news is that you have wonderful eyes
to touch the blue sky.
The good news is that your child is there before you,
and your arms are available:
hugging is possible.
They only print what is wrong.
Look at each of our special editions.
We always offer the things that are not wrong.
We want you to benefit from them
and help protect them.
The dandelion is there by the sidewalk,
smiling its wondrous smile,
singing the song of eternity.
Listen! You have ears that can hear it.
Bow your head.
Listen to it.
Leave behind the world of sorrow
and preoccupation
and get free.
The latest good news
is that you can do it.

Plum Village, 1992

~ from Call Me By My True Names: The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh (Parallax Press, 1999).

Spread the good news!

Recently, while I was feeling overwhelmed by the depressing, violent, politically ugly, oftentimes heartbreaking news of the world, this luminous poem quietly tapped me on the shoulder.

I took a few deep breaths, drank in the words, and felt so much better. I was reminded of the transformative power of poetry, that it is, in essence, a form of meditation. One does not have to be a practicing Buddhist to appreciate the value of mindfulness — a moment of stillness and clarity, to offer gratitude for the beating of your heart.

Poetry Friday is a place of good news, each blog a special edition, each participant a small miracle. It’s a safe haven, where the right words can help turn despair into compassion.

I thank you for this moment.

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, author, poet, teacher, peace and human rights activist, and world renown Zen Master who has published over 100 books. His conversations with Martin Luther King, Jr. likely convinced King to publicly oppose the Vietnam War. Dr. King nominated “Thay,” as he is known to his students, for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. 

♥ Karissa is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at The Iris Chronicles. As Thay would say, “Smile, breathe, and go slowly.”

Hugging is possible.


**Photo Credits:

“Dandelions” by Janine Russell/flickr
“Spreading the Joy of Spring” by Jason Paluck/flickr

Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.