There is a river

Jesus, he said in his father’ church in Atlanta

spoke of avatars in other flocks

whose words in this life

would awaken even

Gandhi, he said in his father’s church in Atlanta

many more

spoke with Vinoba Bhave of farmer cooperatives

fresh from being stabbed in Harlem

fresh from India


is that avatar

Thich Nhat Hanh

spoke with the preacher

fresh from the burning of Thich Quang Duc

at a busy street corner in Cholon

Diem fell like a stone

fresh from Vietnam

moved him to break the silence

Thich Nat Hanh spoke again to Martin

9 months after

we in Vietnam regard

you as a Boddhisattva

one who

loving all creatures



gives his life for each

over and over

stranger along the path

swimmer in the great river

against the current