Sunday, May 3, 2015

One hundred years is only a snap

By X. Z. Shao

One hundred years is only a snap.
I see only living dead
and I am one of them.
Such a notion is so offensive
that a prince would not
content with his status.
I know you are offended too,
So how should we lead our lives
with only a short span wrapped up
in eternal sleep on both ends?
Are you, my friends,
far richer and more powerful than me,
becoming somber and modest on this thought?
Are you, my unfortunate folks,
far invisible and insignificant than me,
elated with this thought
that death is a leveler
and your life is a flash
of a firefly, the same with everyone else’s?
How should I cope with
the existence of no choice?
I timidly hide myself in my poetic lines
so that I may survive a little longer.
But my friends who have no such
a hallucination is far braver.
They enjoy life while they can;
they don’t want their wine
soured by too much brewing,
but I am not so sure of their ways too.
What lies behind the merrymaking,
maybe just a skeleton dangling in the wind.
Is there a way out?
With no God,
I was taught
to let things go 
to let my belongs go
to let the obsession with myself go
to drift in the air like a feather.
The highest thing one can achieve
is neither the tallest building one has built
nor the most awesome power one has wielded,
but a way of seeing every existence as Buddha sees,
interdependently arising without its intrinsic self.
hand down your boat for me in this tumultuous sea.

       Afternoon, December 1, 2010

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