Translation of Light / Ruhama Veltfort

About the Author

Lost Child
Brooklyn, 1963
La Sirena
Susan, Number Four

Early Bird Sutra
Why the Boddhisattva Came
   to Battery Street: 7:55 AM

The Lightning-Struck Tower
The Well
Why Monks Are Fat
Meada in Two Worlds

Looking at the Vault
   of Heaven

Translations from the Spanish:
Song of the Lovers
Dark Night: Climbing
   Mount Carmel




Why the Boddhisattva Came
to Battery Street: 7:55 AM

This street’s a river, running with waves of faces
In a hurry busy morning to work downtown,
Cases and bags and heads packed with papers
Clattering off to desks and hard drives
Born beings, torn from soft bed heavens of sleep and sex,
Gone to showers and shaves, poured into this rushing current
Wires trailing from their ears,
They study their palms like oracles
Smelling of sweet rolls and dark-roasted coffee:
Serious business.

But look! The air is alive
With tiny dancing points of golden light!
The whine and the hum of traffic, the banging of boxes, the horns
Have turned to music,
And even the broken glass by the curb
Is sparkling like diamonds —

Oh people, consider your angelness!
Don’t forget your beatitude:
Empty, you breathe nectar from this downtown air;
Pure, you spin it into honey,
To spread over the earth
Like so many Buddhas.

   © Ruhama Veltfort, 2010