Original Dhamma Poems, composed by forum members

There are a number of poets in our community. Here is a call out for Dhamma poetry we write ourselves. Any form, any length, but related to Dhamma please.

(There’s a designated haiku thread here.)


Hi Dhamma friends, I’ve got into the habit of writing poems on my practice. Mostly to express the difficulties and the joys of the path. Almost like a diary. Anyway I wanted to share some, hopefully it will help others on their path, or maybe can relate.

appamādena sampādethā

Heed the call of those lost days

and all of them to come

Let not a breath go to waste

And if you can

A morsel of peaceful thoughts

For your greedy mind

Great yawning maw of a thirsty king

Taking in anything that comes

With your rolling tongue

And drooling chops

Swaying to the rhythms of a beaten track

Ragged mast at the water’s edge

Scribbling dead leaves on flowing canvas

Watching the night for spots of grey

And the grasping veins of moonlit dreams


Despair at the waning ticking sounds
One ends for another to begin
Again and again
All seems the same
A dull ache
With no name
Only bows down to a wise gaze
Homage to the Buddha
You found the way
Homage to the Dhamma
Without you only pain
Homage to the Sangha
Carrying the flame


The mind thinking, being not real, arises by causal conditions.
Having arisen it ceases completely through its causes.
It is a result of previous actions, but there is no doer.


The noble one came, teaching many.
We gathered in the deers park listening, rain pitter pattering against the bo tree.
Among them animals and men, gods and demons.
Eager for a drop of truth.

He left our world with footsteps in the dirt.

I follow the footsteps to the bo tree.
Eager for a drop of truth.
Only to find CEOS selling buddha heads, the bo-tree cut down.
Worldly ones dressed in robes, abusing with harsh speech.


And I reckon that this one totally deserves another airing:


The demon

‘All this will I give you, if you pay me worship.’ Said the lord of the ceaseless wheel.

‘Lo, and behold, I have set princes and principalities in high places,’

And I beheld a great many nobles

‘Brought forth great treasures,’

And I beheld great gems and currencies of the world.

‘Given science that which man did not deserve comprehension of,’

And I beheld inventors of the past and yet to be, with marvelous machines.

‘Killed enemies,’

And I beheld many men and women slaughtered.

‘Saved and given lives’

And I beheld a mother giving birth.

‘All these things and more I have regency and power over, for I am the lord of the wheel,’ Spake the evil one " I can grant that which man or god desires.’

And I beheld this.

‘This will I give, if only you pay me worship.’

‘Oh Namuci,’ I spoke ‘lord of evil, architect, I will not pay you worship. There is nothing you can give me.’

‘You lie, ascetic, surely I have what your heart in secret craves.’ Said the lord.

‘You cannot give me freedom from anatta, anicca nor dukkha.’

And I beheld the evil one leave, sad and dejected.

‘The ascetic knows me.’


My mother, the magician.
Dreaming of the mountain lake.
In the cold waters, heavenly attendants anoint with perfume, the alabaster elephant kisses her side.
Ten moons, I was in her womb.
She is in my arms for a week, then fades away like a lotus in the sun.
fourty and two years pass.
For three moons, we are together again.


Die Sutra von der Stille und den Fahrzeugen des Hedonismus
Ermahnung des Ehrenwerten Ausrichters städtischer Vegnügungen Fann-Fann durch den Pilger und Bettelmönch Ya-Nun

Nicht sprach der Erhabene für das breite Fahrzeug der Lüste,
nicht sprach er für das flache Cabriolett des Jubels und
nicht für das flüchtige Luftschiff der Träume.

Er sprach, oh Herr, für den verständigen Gebrauch der Sinne,
für den verständigen Gebrauch der Freude,
für den verständigen Gebrauch der Sehnsucht.

Denn es ist die Mitte des Weges
von den Anfechtungen am weitesten entfernt,
von der Gefahr der Verirrung am weitesten entfernt,
vom Weg des Erhabenen am wenigsten entfernt.

So verbindet, oh weltlicher Herr,
das Gewahrsein der Erregung mit dem Gewahrsein der Stille,
verbindet, oh weltlicher Herr,
das Gewahrsein der Freude mit dem Gewahrsein der Leere,
und verbindet, oh Herr,
das Gewahrsein der Träume mit dem Gewahrsein des Seins.

(Aus den schriftlichen Ermahnungen des Bettelmönches und Pilgers Ya-Nun an den ehrenwerten Fann-Fann, den hochgeschätzten Laien und Ausrichter der städtischen Zeremonien von Lü-Nen. )


I hope I’ve not done your verses a horrible injustice by asking Google to translate for me:

The Sutra of Silence and the Vehicles of Hedonism
Admonition of the honorable organizer of city pleasures Fann-Fann by the pilgrim and mendicant Ya-NunFrom the written admonitions of the beggar monk and pilgrim …

The Blessed One did not speak for the broad vehicle of lust,
not he spoke for the cheer and flat convertible
not for the fleeting airship of dreams.

He spoke, oh Lord, for the wise use of the senses,
for the judicious use of joy,
for the judicious use of longing.

Because it is the middle of the way
farthest from the challenges,
furthest from the danger of going astray,
least removed from the path of the sublime.

So unites, oh worldly lord,
the awareness of arousal with the awareness of stillness,
unites, oh worldly lord,
the awareness of joy with the awareness of emptiness,
and connects, oh lord,
the awareness of dreams with the awareness of being.

Ya-Nun to the honorable Fann-Fann, the esteemed layperson and organizer of the municipal ceremonies of Lü-Nen.



Thanks, Gillian! My German is inadequate, and the same thought had crossed my mind.



Hey, thanks very much. I’ve never thought it would be so nice in English. It’s like someone else speaks this to me and I’ve tears in my eyes… :slight_smile:


I was surprised when Google produced something that was actually poetic; if you like it it must be fairly accurate too. :smiley:


I lay me down one morning
My weary head to rest
And on my eyelids dewdrops fell
Of slumber sweetly blest

I slept the sleep of sages
As noontime drifted by
When evening drew her veil in close
I fluttered not an eye

No light appeared, no sound was heard
So why’d I raise my head?
I woke into a dream come true—
An angel’s on my bed!

He spoke to me so kindly
His face all beaming joy:
‘Ask me what you wish to know
I’ll tell you, precious boy’

I doubted not, but dared to speak
This question came to me:
‘Why, though we are born in chains,
Is there this yearning to be free?’


Pale moon.
The full luminous sphere, once marked the holy day.
Pale moon lights the molded book pile, the night is cold.
My hands, they dig through the refuse.
I do not remember my original face.

Somewhere, yes, it must be here.
A mala was broken, I look for lost pieces.
Impermanence, I have not learned this.
Someday the mala will be restrung again.
Tears fall.
My hands dig through the refuse.


Eighty tens by four thousands.
Books were replaced with machines, our children left to the stars.
We were promised our history would not be lost.
Solar flares undid our promise.

A monastery on mars.
One hundred by eight in the red sangha.
The air is cool, the wise swore not to repeat the industrial revolution.
Little is left, only left to inherit the Dhammapada.
Time lost to the strange sands, they chant strange paritta under two moons.


Hello there :slight_smile:

This poem is not mine, but it is a polish song that it is hard to even tell who is the author, but it is sung here and there near bonfires etc. and really a lot of people know it. It is sort of like with myths, you don’t know who the exact author is but a lot of people know them.

I’ve translated it into english and changed two verses a bit (I will write at the end what was changed from original). I wanted to share it because it is a nice allegory of things like craving, chasing atta, fanaticism, war, papanca, and many more ! :slight_smile: I hope it will inspiration to lead a more peaceful life. :pray:

Ballad about Crusader:

Slow down, slow down, hold your horse
Where you’re hurrying wrapped in steel
Surely there where from afar shimmer
White walls of Jerusalem

Surely you expect that in the temple
Your Lord awaits enslaved
So you could come and rescue him
So you could come to him from afar

Slow down, slow down, hold your horse
I was today in Jerusalem
I traversed through empty halls
Your Lord I have not seen

The Lord has left the sacred city
A minite ago, an hour ago
In a cool grove in the desert
He’s meditating with Muhammad*

Slow down, slow down, hold your horse
You want to siege Jerusalem
It is guarded by high towers
It is guarded by Mahummadians

The Lord has left the sacred city
Your sacrifice is in vain
For what the destruction of these white towers
For what all this trouble for the people

Slow down, slow down, hold your horse
Abandon fight unnecessary
Abandon thy sword and spear
And come with me, and come with me

Because where route towards north
Are traversed by troups populous
I just calmly rise the head*
And depart towards the south

  • in original: He’s meditating with Muhammad is He’s drinking wine with Muhammad
  • in original: I just calmly rise the head is I proudly rise my head

And original dhamma poem (it was also originally written in polish language, and was actually poetical lyrics to a song, but here’s just english translation :slight_smile: ).

As golden leaves
Lets leave our scars in earth
Let them be nourishment
To roots of future flowers

On the path of heart
A lesson learned
That even when light is fading
It’s worth to admit that

Here and now
Such is moment
Here and now
I am such

Here and now
Such is moment
Here and now
Just such

Once as flame amid woods
Once as stream flow between stones
Once as root wade through soil
Goodness always finds a way

Once as flame amid woods
Once as stream flow between stones
Once as root wade through soil
Such is the path of the heart

Owlish gaze full of ordeals
Upon iris thousands scars
Yet with stellar glare they’re shining
Yet their words are lovely soothing

Owlish gaze full of ordeals
Upon iris thousands scars
Yet with starry glare they’re shining
Yet their words are warmly soothing

Hearts broken and united
Deepest knowing of the world
They know how to show the way to others
Change their tears into embracing light

Hearts shattered and united
Deepest vision of the world
They know how to show the way to others
Lead their tears into embracing light

Let light of dhamma dissolve our wounds
Open the heart of ease
Only dhamma leads
Towards unending peace

Let the world go of all defilements
And merge with heart of bliss
Because the end of world
Is the highest peace

Let light of dhamma dissolve our wounds
Open the heart of ease
Only dhamma leads
Towards unending peace

Let the world release all of their going
Still into heart of peace
Because end of all movement
Is the highest bliss


Ahhh the sacred Iambic pentameter? Very nice.
You’re a poet, dontcha know it!


Hope I don’t blow it!


This is weird and wonderful, I love it. :heart: