Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I watch

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I watch people in the world 
Throw away their lives lusting after things, 
Never able to satisfy their desires, 
Falling into deeper despair 
And torturing themselves. 
Even if they get what they want 
How long will they be able to enjoy it? 
For one heavenly pleasure 
They suffer ten torments of hell, 
Binding themselves more firmly to the grindstone. 
Such people are like monkeys 
Frantically grasping for the moon in the water 
And then falling into a whirlpool. 
How endlessly those caught up in the floating world suffer. 
Despite myself, I fret over them all night 
And cannot staunch my flow of tears.
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~ Ryokan
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Born as Eizō Yamamoto  in the village of Izumozaki Japan, his poetry is often very simple and inspired by nature. He loved children, and sometimes forgot to beg for food because he was playing with the children of the nearby village. He refused to accept any position as a priest or even as a poet.

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