The Buddha land where once
we dreamed our dreams
by the light of the candles
is abandoned now.
The dreamers have all gone.
A crumbling wall reveals
dead leaves scattered across the floor
where once we ate, and laughed
and believed in a beautiful tomorrow.
War has touched the village
which is now full of ghosts and whispers.
But three roses still bloom by Plum Bridge,
in memory of those days
that will live forever in memory
until my last breath.
I am reading Thich Nhat Hanh's Fragrant Palm Leaves, his memories of a golden time spent in community at Phuong Boi in Vietnam in the 1960's, before war caused him to flee and live forever in exile from the place he so loved.