Life and Death Intertwined

Yutang Lin

The cemetery sits at one corner of the small town
    Death and daily life seem separated
But inside the cemetery
Sounds of birds and winds in the trees, the flowing stream
Occasional glances of deer, squirrel
And maple leaves swirling down on the wing of winds
Make workers, busy with digging and patching,
Mowing and clearing, and the coming and leaving
Mourners, and exercising strollers feel
Not a bit lifeless

Those whose bodies were buried here did not die here
They all faded away in the realm of daily living
Corpses can be removed, to stay alone at a corner
But death cannot be dispelled, and separated from daily life
On the surface, life and death are separated, but indeed
Life and death intertwined is the true fact of life

A withering flower or plant is simultaneously the culture bed for microbes
Corpses that are gradually decaying serve to nourish many kinds of lives
At birth one begins the stroll toward the eventual rest in cemetery ground
In death there is life, and in life there is death, 'tis the cycle of mother nature
Why do we prefer one to the other, and are
Clinging to life but afraid of death

Recognize clearly the facts, and accept the truth of life and death intertwined
Remain at ease in living a life of understanding life and death are one

Written in Chinese and translated on October 28, 2007
El Cerrito, California

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