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Apr 17
Arts and Poetry, Dharma Teachings
Warrior Song of King Gesar

"Cry of the Wild" by Joey Johannsen

Our earth is wounded
Her oceans and lakes are sick
Her rivers are like running sores
The air is filled with subtle poisons
And the oily smoke of countless hellish fires blackens the sun
Day has become night.

Fish are born deformed; birds fall lifeless from the sky
Forests and plains wither
Animals running in futile search for shelter and food
Collapse and die.

Men and women scattered from homeland, family, friends,
Wander desolate and uncertain, scorched by a toxic sun
Prey to empty longings, strange diseases and sudden death.

Nor is night a cooling time of moonlit rest,
But a fearful flame-lit void
Of sirens, cries and murderous phantoms.
In this desert of frightened, blind uncertainty
Some take refuge in the pursuit of power,
Of knowledge and technique.
Some become manipulators of illusion and deceit.
Some take refuge in realms of self-satisfied passion
And some build up a golden wall of simple wealth.

Men have become robots and zombies
As they have made these hopes and fears
Their ruthless demonic lords.

If goodness and bravery still dwell in this world
As other than a flickering shadow on the edge of sleep,
If wisdom and harmony still dwell in this world
As other than a dream lost in an unopened book
They are hidden in our heartbeat
And it is from our hearts that we cry out

We cry out and our voices are the single voice of this wounded earth
Our cries are a great wind across the earth
The juniper smoke rises on this wind
And on this bridge of longing, as we sing of him,
Gesar himself, the ever-youthful Lion King descends
Surrounded by flags and pennants snapping in the wind
To forge the weapons that cut the life force of fear and doubt,
To subdue and destroy the demonic hordes
And to establish the kingdom of freedom, confidence and joy
That dwells eternally in the hearts of all.


( c ) Douglas J. Penick, 1996. Reprinted from The Warrior Song of King Gesar, with permission from Wisdom Publications, 199 Elm Street, Somerville, MA 02144 USA. Wisdompubs.org

In his modern rendition, Douglas Penick brings us the unbroken heritage of spiritual warriorship embodied by the life of the enlightened warrior-sage Gesar, King of Ling. Gesar’s unique teaching lies in showing us ways to use the very energy of drama and adventure to attain lasting peace.

Read by Joanna Macy at the Boulder Shambhala Center, April 2009

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