Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Oldest Pagoda And Mourners Tanka

written on the day of a cremation ceremony held for Thich Nhat Hanh, founder of engaged Buddhism and peace activist

oldest pagoda  
silhouetted against twilight sky 
wave upon wave 
of mourners moving 
in meditative silence

FYI: Thich Nhat Hanh's coffin has been on display in a week-long funeral at Tu Hieu, one of Vietnam's largest and oldest pagodas, drawing tens of thousands of mourners including orange and yellow-robed monks. A cremation ceremony will take place on Saturday... 

-- "Thousands mourn Vietnamese Zen master and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh," Reuters, Jan.28 

“I am happy and feel at peace that I could come to Hue to say farewell and meditate with ‘Su Ong’ for the last time,” said Do Minh Hieu, a follower of Nhat Hanh's who traveled from southern Ho Chi Minh City with his family for the funeral. “Su Ong” is an affectionate Vietnamese term meaning “Grandpa Monk."

-- "Funeral held in Vietnam for influential monk Thich Nhat Hanh," Associated Press, Jan. 29

This tanka is a sequel to the following one: 

For Thich Nhat Hanh, founder of engaged Buddhism and peace activist, who died at the age of 95 on January 22. 

wingbeats of a crane... 
mindful in-breath and out-breath 
to go home