author’s note:

The haiku above was translated by R. H. Blyth.  It can be found (I think) in The Classic Tradition of Haiku (Dover Thrift Editions).
 

ANY WISE SNAIL WILL TELL YOU

I’m anxious to get past
the many blocks in my path
’cause I’m told:
on the other side of all that
bric-a-brac
I’ll find a place of peace.

In the past
(feeling desperate and doubtful)
I tried to blast
through my blocks
in the manner of a resolute ram.

But
after butting my head
again and again and again
I finally accepted
this unmovable truth:

I must go slow
when working my way through
the unavoidable obstacle.

As any wise snail will tell you:
honest progress occurs at a crawl.

But even at this pace
I must occasionally pause
for a breath…

At such times
if my stop becomes still enough
I may again sense
the mysterious music hidden within
all the cacophonous curiosities
of our path

then
if I can deepen my listening
I’ll find that same harmony
within me
and for a moment know
the reality of the peace I seek.

After that moment passes
I’ll remember why—
why I must continue
this wonderful crawl.
 

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
dream steps blog

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