Many great teachers of ancient time and culture
Speak clearly through the ages,
Celebrated in word, commentary, sculpture,
Scroll, or yellowing pages.
Some speak of ancient strategy, to win conquests,
Or of building their empires.
Some speak of endurance, passing life’s harshest tests,
Harnessing deep inner fires.
The ones who’ve left the longest-lasting impression
Are difficult to follow.
The validity of their message, their mission,
Wisdom, we should seek to know:
They speak of contentment, having almost nothing,
Enjoying lean existence.
One must find, in relationships, reasons to sing
Worth more than our subsistence.
I treasure my simple bowl, vegetables, white rice,
Served with a little shoyu,
A cup full of hot tea is always very nice,
My conversations with you,
A lot of work, a little rest, a little health,
These are God’s riches, I see.
Still, I sometimes dream of a palace, untold wealth,
And you, to share them with me.
shoyu: soy sauce