Where there are humansby Kobayashi Issa
English version by Lucien Stryk and Takashi Ikemoto
Original Language Japanese
Where there are humans
You'll find flies,
|-- from A Box of Zen: Haiku the Poetry of Zen, Koans the Lessons of Zen, Sayings the Wisdom of Zen, Edited by Manuela Dunn Mascetti / Edited by Timothy Hugh Barrett|
/ Image by Samcatt /
This haiku has me chuckling.
That's what is so infuriating and wondrous about this creature we call the human being. While a deer is utterly and profoundly a deer, and a lion a lion, every human carries the whole menagerie of earth and host of heaven in tow.
I'd just add that, to the Buddhas, the flies too are Buddhas. And so are the humans... So where exactly does that leave us?
PS- I want to thank you all for the many wonderful responses I received to Wednesday's poem and commentary. There were too many messages for me to respond to them individually, but I have been reading all of your emails and blog post comments, and I am moved by how many of you felt inspired to send me stories from your own personal journeys and experiences. It is magical the many ways the human soul unfolds.