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“Man can do everything”

วริตตา ศรีรัตนา

ภาพโดย Ke Hugo

The boy read out loud,

Swelling, feeling proud,

Lines from Science for Prathom 5,

Sure made him smile…

The boy flipped through faded pictures,

“There, the Wright Brothers!

And their first jet”

He pointed happily,

“That’s the Titanic, Leonardo on its deck

I’ve seen it crash and wreck

In the movie!”

Leaning on the trunk

Of a mango tree,

The monk chuckled,

Lines from Science for Prathom 5,

Also made him smile…

The monk closed his eyes,

And waited patiently.


The boy closed his book.

The monk opened his eyes

And gave him a look.

“Boy, help me pick the lotus,

If you don’t mind”

The boy dragged a wooden boat

And together,

They floated out in the murky pond,

A boat, a student, a teacher.

“I heard you said man can do everything, yes?”

The monk stopped rowing,

And thus began this lotus-picking,

His hand touched the water.

“Sir, yes”

Was the boy’s response,

“Man can fly,

Man can build steel ships

Man can do,

Everything their hearts desire”

“I see”

The monk smiled mysteriously,

“Now listen to this,

Here’s an enigma that you can’t resist”

The boy looked interested.

“Can man embrace bees

the way this kind lotus do?”

The boy thought hard.

The furrow on his forehead

Matched the line of the wood.

“No, bees will sting us if we do so”

the boy replied,

But quickly added,

“But if we wear strong armor, maybe we can

hug bees without getting hurt”

The monk laughed,

“You’ll crush them into pieces, then,

Those bees.

Don’t forget, killing is a sin

And embracing someone with an armor

is not a true embrace

Look at the lotus, look how it gently embraces

Butterflies and bees”

“Then man cannot embrace bees without sin”

The boy looked puzzled.

“But, sir, man can do Much More

important things

than that


The boy stammered:

“Like building airplanes

And the Titanic”

“Ah, I see”

The monk paused and said

“Look at the birds

Don’t you think they inspire the Wright Brothers?”

The boy squinted his eyes,

the birds,

flapping their wings in one large group,

can shape black-dotted airplane,

Amazing Troop!

“As for the Titanic”

The monk pointed out to the water

“Look at these little white vessels,

These Jasmines,

And tell me,

How they endure the river

And escape our strokes,

Don’t they, by any chance,

Inspire those who build the Great boat?”

The student followed the teacher’s hand,

Now he can see

Now he can understand

For written clearly by the teacher’s vein,

He saw the lines:

Without nature,

Man is nothing.

“Close your eyes now, boy”

The monk could feel the summer wind stroking his robe.

“Feel the breeze, the breath of the bees

Breathe with the lotus and the mango tree

Meditate with me,

For, in this way,

Lord Buddha’s wisdom was inspired by nature.

In this way,

Nature is man and man is nature

The Lord Buddha, you, me,

WE are all at one”

--And you…You are the lotus in this lotus-picking,

A benign voice could be heard in the breeze

The boy closed his eyes,

Feeling his torso turn,

Into strong trunk,

Feeling his palms

turn into Jasmine petals,

Feeling his head

Turn into blooming lotus,

-I am a lotus-, the boy thought

He hid his smile humbly:

-And Now I can embrace bees-


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