for Venerable Chang Wu, Dharma Drum Mountain, Jan 29, 2017
From another room, my child plays
her violin, drawing the bow across the rosewood heart.
Music pours from her hands, spills down the hall.
Today, as guests at our friends’ temple
for the Lunar New Year, we ate the simple food
that contained no blood, no cruelty.
As the gongs rang out and the lions met and bowed
we asked for an end to the suffering of all beings.
Not to dwell in the room of pain.
Not to dwell in the rooms of mistrust, of hopelessness.
From another room, my child plays her violin.
The notes rise like cranes in flight, fall like gold coins,
like the moon and stars in the broken waters.