When I heard that Thich Nhat Hanh, the Mindfulness Monk, was in the hospital and his companions thought he may be passing on, I was taken back many years and a poem sprung forth. I shared the poem with my friend Ashwini (fellow artist here on Artisdates). She felt moved by the poem and her own artistic work on a gong installation at her home and decided to translate the poem into Marathi, her native. Here is the English version and then the Marathi version. Ashwini’s vocal rendition of her Marathi translation is beautiful and makes the poem come alive. Even if you do not know the language, the sounds of the words will surely make you feel the energy of the poem.

Love’s Gong

When years ago I lay in a cupboard
Crying and wailing
Inside and out

An all heart man reached out
From the book I held
And cradled me

Strings of words woven together
A hammock that buoyed me
From falling down

I walked out of that cupboard strong
Dressed in tenderness
And love’s gong

Ashwini’s Marathi Translation:

प्रेमाची तास वाजवित

अनेक वर्षांपूर्वि
मी बंद कपाटात लपून
रडत होते ।

जेव्हा अचानक
एका दयालु माणसाने
लिहीलेल्या पुस्तकाने
मला सांत्वन दिले ।

गुंफलेले अनमोल शब्द
झोपाला बनुन
घसर्टे पाउल सावरून
मी हवेत तरंगले ।

आज त्या कपाटातून
मी खंबीर होऊन
जगाच्या सामोरी येते
वात्सल्याचा झगा व
प्रेमाची तास वाजवित ।