A weak, starving man was walking
Slowly through a landscape of
Dead trees and barren thorn bushes.
On his back was a large sack
Filled with heavy grey stones.
He had nothing except these stones.
He loved his stones;
One was round, one was square,
And one was like a pyramid.
He took them out every now and then
To feel them. Then he
Put them back into the sack
And stumbled slowly on.
One day he came to a river;
The first he had ever seen.
On the other side was an amazing
Lush landscape of rich mountains,
Waterfalls, fruit trees, birds,
Gardens, and brilliant golden
Temples with happy children
Laughing, playing with deer.
Strong men with clear eyes
Came to the edge of the river
And shouted to him,
"Come over here! Come over here!
Just swim across the river!"
But the man said,
"I can't! I'd have to leave
My stones! I couldn't swim
With my stones! I'm too weak!"
"Leave them! Don't be foolish!
We have stones here—perfect stones,
Diamonds, dazzling rubies!"
"Yes, but my stones are round,
Square, and one is a pyramid!"
"We have better stones here—
What are you waiting for?"
"But, I'd have to give up my stones!"
"We just said, we could give
You better ones!"
"Yes , but they're not mine!"
"Why should that bother you?
What you have is nothing!
Look at all the beauty here!"
"Well, suppose you swim to me
And carry me over to your side."
"With your stones?"
"Yes, with my stones."
"No, we can't do that.
Nothing can get those stones
Across the water. They belong
Over there; but you do not!
You belong over here!"
Just then the man turned
To his side of the river
To see a thin creature
Loaded with stones
Jump into a thick mist downstream
And drown. It was screaming,
"Nothing! Nothing!" as it died.
Another one came, quietly,
And walked calmly in to drown.
It had no stones, but said, "Nothing."
The man looked at the mist,
And at the temples,
And he looked at himself.
Then he remembered something
He had forgotten, a long time ago.
He threw his stones away
And swam back across the river to get it.
The people greeted him with dancing,
And he found he was in the home of God.

Damodara das Adhikary (Dan Clark)