Moksha [Common Meter]

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.

No Hanuman Span [Common Meter]

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.

Harvest Mind [Common Meter]

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?

Warm Morning Light [Common Meter]

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.

Propaganda [Common Meter]

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.

Rote Learning [Common Meter]

Words memorized rote are a meal
wholly undigested,
That's why memorization is
utterly detested.

Rote learning is, somehow, bloating
and yet never filling.
One takes it all in by way of 
monotonous drilling,
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.

Copperhead [Common Meter]

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.

The Thoreau Life [Common Meter]

What a way to live one's life, in
a cabin made of wood;
never to be governed by: "I
have to! I must! I should!"

To set one's sights on the day's needs
as one's only master,
and not be told, "you move too slow,
you must live life faster." 

To start the day by a cue from
rays of the rising sun.
To end the day when the day ends,
not only just've begun.

River Trance [Common Meter]

I sit on a green grass riverside,
watching brown waters flow.
Some karst monoliths stand behind
in which scrubby shrubs grow.

I feel my mind could be swept on
down to the sprawling sea,
while my body would stay behind
asleep with back to tree.

And panic and freedom both rise -
untethered from earth's hold.
As I see the future and the past
blended at the threshold.

And space, like time, has no meaning --
just an amorphous blob.
I awaken gasping spastically,
my pulse in a wild throb.

On Second Thought [Common Meter]

The scholar sits, contemplating
the world's perfect order,
but finds that "perfect" is a stretch.
"It's close to the border
between Disorder and Chaos.
mere miles from the junction
of Great Malady and Mayhem
deep within Dysfunction."