By John C. Del Bagno
In the cool evening tonight, resting
On my back deck with a cup of tea,
A rising star looks solitary to me.
Yet I know the sharp view of astronomers
Has revealed it to be a vast cluster
of stars and planets.
When Shakyamuni’s wisdom eye opened
He saw the limitless Buddhas
Spread across world system after world system.
So what reaches me this night includes
The radiance of a host of Buddhas.
Of all those Buddhas which Shakyamuni saw,
Amitabha’s light reached farthest and
Shone brightest, enough to bathe my
Tumultuous heart and my cup of tea.
For years unsure, my Amitabha recitation
Came in forced breaths, as if necessary to keep pace
In a cross country marathon over mountains
And through deep hollows.
Tonight my recitation comes easy
With the relaxation of having just taken a seat
On a ferry almost missed.
The syllables flow out gently, in rhythm
With the small waves lapping against the hull.
At ease, with little else to do,
I am carried along towards the Pure Land
Tonight on my back deck.