What Issa Heard
by David Budbill
Two hundred years ago Issa heard the morning birds
singing sutras to this suffering world.
I heard them too, this morning, which must mean,
since we will always have a suffering world,
we must also always have a song.
From Moment to Moment: Poems of a Mountain Recluse (Port Townsend, Washington, Copper Canyon Press, 1999).