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Compassion Poetry

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Moderatorsdavidbhayes, fredclaymeyer
TaglinePoems about love, compassion, and the value of all sentient beings
DescriptionPoem about love, compassion, and the value of all sentient beings. We're not of a religion, but we're not afraid of poems that feature language from your religion of choice. Any poems that make you desire, remember to, or be more compassionate are welcomed.
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1

We All Try
fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — in Compassion Poetry
From Frank Ocean--not strictly poetry, but a beautiful statement of compassion. (More the song than the video...)

1 response to this post

1

Mr. Rogers in Congress
fredclaymeyer — 5 years ago — in Compassion Poetry
I never realized what was going on with Mister Rogers, but he was really quite a guy... The "poetry" bit is a song for children, toward the end.

1 response to this post

2

"Kindness" by Naomi Shihab Nye
davidbhayes — 5 years ago — in Compassion Poetry
I've long loved this one.
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.

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1

"Ice Cubes of Bodhi"
fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — in Compassion Poetry
I just found this beautiful and very strange video on bodhicitta by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche:

1

"Kind World"
fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — in Compassion Poetry

2

The Great Turning
davidbhayes — 4 years ago — in Compassion Poetry
Heard this in a fantastic dharma talk from Spring Washam and it really caught my ear. The poem is called The Great Turning, by Christine Fry:
You've asked me to tell you of the Great Turning
Of how we saved the world from disaster.
The answer is both simple and complex.
We turned.
For hundreds of years we had turned away as life on earth grew more precarious
We turned away from the homeless men on the streets, the stench from the river,
The children orphaned in Iraq, the mothers dying of AIDS in Africa
We turned away because that was what we had been taught.
To turn away, from our pain, from the hurt in another's eyes,
From the drunken father, from the friend betrayed.
Always we were told, in actions louder than words, to turn away, turn away.
And so we became a lonely people caught up in a world
Moving too quickly, too mindlessly toward its own demise.
Until it seemed as if there was no safe space to turn.
No place, inside or out, that did not remind us of fear or terror, despair and loss, anger and grief.
Yet, on one of those days, someone did turn.
Turned to face the pain.
Turned to face the stranger.
Turned to look at the smouldering world and the hatred seething in too many eyes.
Turned to face himself, herself.
And then another turned.
And another. And another.
And as they wept, they took each other's hands.
Until whole groups of people were turning.
Young and old, gay and straight.
People of all colours, all nations, all religions.
Turning not only to the pain and hurt but to beauty, gratitude and love.
Turning to one another with forgiveness and a longing for peace in their hearts.
At first, the turning made people dizzy, even silly.
There were people standing to the side, gawking, criticizing, trying to knock the turners down.
But the people turning kept getting up, kept helping one another to their feet.
Their laughter and kindness brought others into the turning circle
Until even the nay-sayers began to smile and sway.
As the people turned, they began to spin
Reweaving the web of life, mending the shocking tears,
Knitting it back together with the colours of the earth,
Sewing on tiny mirrors so the beauty of each person, each creature, each plant, each life
Might be seen and respected.
And as the people turned, as they spun like the earth through the universe,
The web wrapped around them like a soft baby blanket
Making it clear all were loved, nothing separate.
As this love reached into every crack and crevice, the people began to wake and wonder,
To breath and give thanks,
To celebrate together.
And so the world was saved, but only as long as you, too, sweet one, remember to turn

2

Ze Frank's "What's On Your HappyList?"
davidbhayes — 4 years ago — in Compassion Poetry
It's on his site here, but I've also embedded it below:

This isn't really a poem, per se, nor clearly about compassion. But I do think it fits well enough to keep.