Put Away Childish Things


          Put away childish things
          yet keep the childlike wonder.
          Though dreams be rent asunder
          our wishes still have wings.

          Put away childish speech
          but not the constant queries
          that question rooted theories
          which reason cannot reach.

          Put away childish ken,
          though artless ways of seeing
          in any age of being
          will find a poet’s pen.

          Put away childish thought
          yet not imagination
          which sparks our inspiration
          beyond what we are taught.

          Put away childish things
          but follow deepest desires.
          Those secret innermost fires
          burn brighter as hope sings.

          Put away childish whim
          yet not delight in playing,
          then when the world’s dismaying,
          our days won’t seem so grim.

          Put away childish fears.
          Nonetheless, through thick and thin
          hang on to the child within,
          the laughter and the tears,

          all the livelong years…

          Put away childish things.
          While our dusty death is nigh,
          the utter self shall not die,
          and karmic kismet clings.

          Put away childish things,
          though then in mirror darkly
          we face our image starkly,
          plus suffer destined slings.

          Put away childish pain
          yet not sensations tender
          for sunset’s golden splendor
          or soothing thrum of rain,

          therein the simple joys remain…
          Nor questing spirit ever lose,
          while on the pathway that we choose,
          neither from love refrain

          which makes a heaven of earth’s domain.

          Still, throughout, with faith unshaken,
          seek enlightenment to waken,
          thus the bliss supreme to gain,
          plus not to live and die in vain…

          Put away childish things
          and hold to cause eternal
          to banish fate infernal,
          as theme and title rings.

          Put away childish things.
          Let true wisdom’s waters flow
          with Nam Myoho Renge Kyo,
          wherefrom great fortune springs!

          ~ Harley White


* * * * * * * * * *

This poem has a Buddhist theme, though the following well-known quotation provided the initial literary inspiration for the poem…

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, darkly, but then face to face.”

Note about quote

Further inspiration derived from the teachings and writings of Nichiren Daishōnin, as well as Martin Bradley’s interpretative writings about them…

Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō means to devote our lives to and found them on (Nam[u]) the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō) [entirety of existence, enlightenment and unenlightenment] permeated by the underlying white lotus flower-like mechanism of the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect (Renge) in its whereabouts of the ten [psychological] realms of dharmas [which is every possible psychological wavelength] (Kyō).

The reason that we continually recite Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō

The Hoodoos near Fairmont Hot Springs, British Columbia

Sunset at McKenzie Beach on the western side of Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Credit: Gerhard Lenz

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