Selected Poems and Musings
Ven. Moneyya photographed by Andrzej Walkusz
In Memory of my Mother
Note to the Reader
The poems in this file may be printed out for free distribution, but may not be altered or reproduced for commercial purposes without the author’s permission.
My thanks to Ron Browning, Joanne Ferris and Philip Starkman for their support and encouragement, without which I would not have undertaken this project, and to others who read through the manuscript, made suggestions, and provided assistance with printing and emailing. A special word of thanks to the Venerable Anandajoti, for doing the document’s final formatting and posting it on this website
New Edition, June 2015
Part of the joy of writing poetry is in sharing it with others, which I have done with my friends and family over the years, and now, for the first time, in this small book of verse, a select number of these poems have been compiled to share with a wider audience. With the exception of the first poem, this book spans the years of my life as a Buddhist practitioner, initially in the Zen tradition, later in the Theravada tradition, and finally as a Theravada Buddhist monk (bhikkhu in Pāli). This does not mean, however, that every one of these poems has a Buddhist theme or subject. Some of them do, but many do not, except in the sense that my orientation as a Buddhist practitioner serves as a backdrop for their presentation.
Several of the earlier poems merge this Buddhist orientation with those of other spiritual traditions. “Tears of Blood,” for example, has an unmistakably Christian theme, while “Hansīka” and “Return” were written during my residence at a yoga ashram. In order to avoid confusion about these different periods in my life, I have arranged the poems in chronological order and included specific locations, where possible. This should make for greater continuity in the reading and also make it possible to trace the various threads of development running through the poetry. The poems are followed by a postscript, consisting of a series of aphorisms and musings that were separated out from the main body of the poetry due to their difference in style and character. To make the document more accessible to the general public, Buddhist terms have been footnoted and defined. A short biography has also been included at the end of the book, which will hopefully provide some insight into the origin of the author’s works and make for a more fruitful reading experience.
Pa-Auk Forest Monastery