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Author of this poem:

Zen Master Hsu Yun


One year and then another.
Appearances gradually change.
Bone marrow shrivels.
Eyebrows thin away.

This time-limited body is like a mound of slurry.
In the Triple World, earth, air, fire and water mingle and change.
This is all our emotions allow us to notice
And their sight obstructs our view of Heaven.

One month and then another.
The light and dark pass like melting snow.
No part can be kept for long.
Only the Dharma does not come or go.

The lacquer bowl suddenly breaks.
You are like the Dragon of Heaven - born to be lively and free.
A roc can't live in a crane's nest.
A little jiaoliao bird needs to stay near mosquito ponds.

One day and then another.
They never wear themselves out.
Give up your judgments about everything.
It's all insubstantial in the end.

All things under the sun come to an end and dissolve.
Spend what time you have in honest simplicity.
Just one breath of the Eternal
Admits you to the Great Chamber.

One hour and then another.
Inexorably march, step by step.
Whenever I meet you, we each smile.
But who is it who drags your corpse around?

Steadfast and unchangeable
Always mindful of this or that.
You're young and strong. Exert yourself!
Don't wait... oh please don't wait
Until you're much too old and weak.

Humming Bird
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