Sunday, September 6, 2020


Songs of the Little Hut

The sky god rains

but my hut is well thatch'd

draft free, simple

I concentrate my mind —

Rain, sky god


                                                 — Godhika

Who dwells in the little hut?

A solitary hermit

He's shed desire

He keeps a sharp mind

Oh his little hut was not

built in vain

                                                 — Kutiviharin

You have your old cottage

Now you want a new one

but friend don't you realize

a new cottage is just

             further trouble

                                                   — Kutiviharin

Irrigators channel the creeks

Fletchers straighten the

arrow shaft

Carpenters bend a plank to their will

Men of character

            give shape to the self

                                                      — Kula

The seeing one sees both

the one who sees

and the one who doesn't

The one who doesn't see

sees neither

                                                     — Vappa

My little hut pleases me

I have no need for women

Let them take their

fine clothes and trouble

            somewhere else

                                                     — Ramaniyakutika

Addictions he shook off

food, clothes, house, medicine, no longer needed

His birthplace is emptiness

He leaves tracks

like a bird

through the sky

                                                         — Vijaya

We dwell alone in the forest

old trees the woodcutter rejected

People look at me

like hell-bound creatures at someone

             going to heaven

                                                              — Vijjiputta 


Enlightenment Poems from the Theragatha and Therigatha

Songs of the Sons and Daughters of Buddha
translated by Andrew Schelling and Anne Waldman
Shambhala 2020

just be honest — wouldn't you have loved to have written these poems!