Still Flowing Water


(For Mary Ellen Landolina and Ajahn Chah)

Dip your hand in that still, flowing water
Plunge it to the bottom if you’re bold
Yes, dip your hand in that still, flowing water
And don’t you cling to things that you behold

Everywhere the flames keep growing higher
That old man’s blowing smoke into your face
You strive and strain and struggle towards the wire,
Afraid that you might lose the human race

Dip your hand in that still, flowing water
Plunge it to the bottom if you’re brave
Yes, dip your hand in that still, flowing water
The wise man knows that life is but a wave

The sparrow flies with no thoughts of tomorrow
The tortoise never lingers in the past
The tree will bare its branches without sorrow
And they don’t care who is first or who is last

Dip your hand in that still, flowing water
Right down to the bottom let it sink
Yes, dip your hand in that still, flowing water
And don’t believe in everything you think

Since everything you see and touch is hollow
There’s no way that your treasure chest will fill
Wherever you may go, these tears will follow
Unless you keep your flowing water still

Dip your hand in that still, flowing water
Plunge it to the bottom, you’ve been told
Yes, dip your hand in that still, flowing water
And let go, yes, of everything you hold

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