Thursday, September 25, 2014

JAPA











“If there had been only one Buddhist in the woodpile” 
That cynical idealist, realist poet of the people once pondered.
Substitute Waco, Texas with any and all complicated, absurdity of violence
Before then, until now and beyond tomorrow. 

If Isis, the Egyptian mother goddess, protector of all, had been in the woodpile in Iraq
Could the children have been saved-- the Christians, Yazidi, Sunni,
or the young men killed by the soulless murderers
wearing  black masks to cover mocking faces of defiance

Isis: they have taken your name in vain and perverted your purpose.

Could any power prevent the mass murders, carnage, brutality? 
It didn’t, it hasn’t, it couldn’t.
Only consciousness can.
Not Bodhisattva- or saint-like consciousness
But the tiniest bit of wonder before the infinite universe
A modest intimation of human spirit
One clear glimpse of beauty, goodness, love
In an instant could engender compassion for the other:

Her fear and suffering, his sorrow and joy

That glimmer of consciousness might have asked: 
"With my life, here and now, what will I do? 
What do I wish to bring into being, to experience? 
Supreme power over everything and everyone?
Shedding blood of innocents with the arrogance of zeal?"

Their answer is “yes.” The men of war have ever said thus: 
“I will assert and secure my power over the weak and helpless
Through terror, torture, rape and death

Speaking threats with hearts of stone
Claiming credit for mass murders

Such is the history of the world--a "nightmare from which we are trying to awaken,"
And what will the warriors rule over--these modern hoards at the gates of civilization--
Chaos and devastation?
Keeping watch, lest the same thing befall them
Born of the pain and malice they engendered in others?

And the nations’ military deus ex machina descends upon them
While the Buddhist and we wait and meditate

Clapping one hand

Monday, September 1, 2014

Untitled













Parts of me are missing
I don’t know what they are or where to look for them
I only sense sometimes--the gaps, the spaces that keep me from wholeness
standing under the stars last night, the tide coming in, the wind blowing, restless
preferring the familiarity of my small room
where I am reminded of the what I could not name in the dark mystery of the infinite. 

Why?
I fold the laundry, wash out the green glass, sweep the leaves from my doorway, put everything in its place
except the fragments of myself--out there somewhere, or in here
so near, but deeper than I can see or go.