rise and fall, the cycle of
rise and fall: the rhythm of life.
the wheel of becoming turns,
without beginning or end,
breathing in, breathing out.
hearts beating, pulses pounding;
it is the rhythm of life,
marking time, as it passes us by.

luna goes through her phases
as earth rotates on its axis;
the tide rolls in, and then
back out. waves rise and fall.

day turns into night;
night turns into day;
weeks pass; months pass.
as the earth orbits the sun,
the seasons change;
years pass; eons pass.

innumerable births and deaths,
arising and ceasing,
without ceasing:
breathing in, breathing out,
the entire universe
expands and contracts.
birth, growth, maturity,
aging, death, rebirth,
death, rebirth, death, rebirth.

we need fear death
no more than birth;
seeing that they are merely
two different stages of life,
two points on a curve,
two moments of consciousness.
breathing in, breathing out,
just rising and falling,
the cycle of rise and fall:
it is the rhythm of life.

the Enlightened Ones,
being somewhat out-of-step,
break the rhythm, and proceed
to beat the drum of the Deathless;
the universe sighs.

1998 by Metta Jon Maslow (6-28-98)