The Sadhu sits upon the ghat,
so free from suffering.
Like butterflies in still moments
with wings not fluttering.
There's no living and no dying,
just a rare kind of dead,
in which bodies move, but minds don't,
and worlds are gently tread.
A timeless time will come to be,
when all is uniform.
And nothing 's hot & nothing 's cold,
but all is just lukewarm.
So thank your lucky stars you've lived
in this age of bedlam:
when stars can shine and buildings rise
and we've cerebellums.
I stand before the water's edge.
Thwarted, I throw a stone.
For I am here and you are there,
and I feel all alone.
I have no friendly Hanuman
to form a viaduct.
I gather scraps together to
see what I can construct.
Maybe I'll make a raft, or some
rickety, old footbridge -
Anything to reduce the gulf
so much as a hopeful smidge.
On a bacon-scented sidewalk,
an hour before the dawn,
awaiting the man with a key
as I make a dazed yawn.
I've a vaguely swimming headache,
and thoughts that fail to form.
Will we have a crisp, red sunrise,
and would it mean a storm?
I'd remembered an old saying
of red sky morning dread,
but that's for sailors out at sea
not landsmen missing bed.
The heavy heads of lolling grain
were shifting in the breeze.
A harvester did chomp it down,
reaping before the freeze.
Now we'll stare at the naked field,
feeling something 's been lost,
seeing nothing but stalk stubble -
stiffened and white with frost.
What's culled from the harvest mind
when all the fields are cleared,
and dancing plants of robust grain
are newly disappeared?
My walk is in the early hours,
in dawn's buttery light.
There's a gold glint to all that's pale,
whether a wall of white
or waters of a placid lake
or eucalyptus trunks
or on the waving Pampas grass
or on the robes of monks.
And by the time I've lost that light,
the walking hour is done.
And I'll be looking forward to
when next the day is dun.
The words were whispered down the line,
but changed at every turn.
Some words were written down in time,
but gathered up to burn.
And no one knew unvarnished truth --
only some stray excerpts.
They tried to cobble together
the judgments of experts.
But truth was not to be retrieved
by way of slick guesses
and in the end all they had left
were their burning messes.
Words memorized rote are a meal
That's why memorization is
Rote learning is, somehow, bloating
and yet never filling.
One takes it all in by way of
but while you're still filling your cup
you're already spilling.
You pass your test and purge it all.
It's so unfulfilling.
If I may, please let me suggest
that here's what you should do:
get the gist, play with it, and find
out what it means to you.
I walked along a well-worn trail
with no intent but rest.
I wished to be soothed by the trees,
but found myself distressed.
For in my path rested a snake,
known as the copperhead --
a breed that has inspired wonder
and no uncertain dread.
I gave the snake full attention,
and then gave it wide berth,
but it must have been far too wide
for I walked right off the earth.