Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Poem: A 100-year-old Bodhi Tree

A 100-year-old Bodhi Tree

I found it standing 
on a quiescent knoll
offering a lofty view 
of Paya Lebar
in part.

I wondered 
how it would feel like
if I could share 
the life of this tree –
one 7-year-old boy –
sitting beneath as he would 
40 years ago
and looking down 
the bucolic view
when all was green
as far as his eyes could see.

He would be sad indeed - 
very sad – knowing 
this tree of his roots
would be cut down 
40 years on and now...
how... how have we no room
for a gentle old tree?

Where it stands - be it
Buddhist or Taoist, Hindu or Sikh,
a temple, a mosque, 
church or synagogue,
 - the tree, wherever it may 
destined be,
provides its loving shade
to all in need.

need we a better world for
and ethnicity
and peace
than under a gentle tree?

Come brethren,
come touch this Bodhi Tree –
For it may soon be too late
to offer your hopes
that 100 years
 of loving kindness
will not be torn, shattered 
and gored
to splinters and dust.

- Joseph Lai

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