Mocking Monkey [Common Meter]

One day I passed a gray monkey,
and something made me turn.
I caught the primate in the act 
of issuing a burn.

Its eyes were closed; its tongue stuck out.
Its head twisted to tease.
And when it saw me seeing it,
for a sec, it did freeze. 

As if not a thing had happened,
and it was not to blame.
Before I could make my rebuke
it multiplied my shame.

by blowing me a raspberry
followed by a big smirk.
Then it scrambled away before
I went truly berserk.

The End Times Ball [Common Meter]

A sign that hangs on down the street
proclaims to one and all
that coming soon there will be
a Lonely-Hearts Club Ball.

A dance of manic turbulence
where singles 're all & none.
You can come all by yourself, but
you'll never leave as one.

You'll be swept into unity
with undulating hoards.
Bound by bindings you'll feel, not see;
you'll never cut these cords.

So, welcome to the end of you,
as only you can know.
And welcome to the beginning
of the everlasting flow.

For an end is a beginning
of something bold and new.
And a beginning is an end:
'cause we're just passing through.

Sun Wukong [Common Meter]

The Monkey King with magic staff
outmatched monsters and gods,
defying the Jade Emperor's
edicts against all odds.

He erased himself from out of 
The Book of Life and Death,
and lived through the Crucible --
nearly holding his breath.

Finally, the gods called Buddha,
though some had their qualms,
but the one thing Monkey couldn't do
was leap from Buddha's palm.

Squirrel Grind [Common Meter]

The squirrel's life 's an acorn hunt:
forage and hide the nut.
But a feeble mind requires that
it hide them by the glut.

Squirrel happiness is fragile
no cache is big enough
to be certain it'll make it through
should the winter get rough. 

Oh, give me the tardigrade life,
not a doubt it'll survive.
No food, no water, vacuum of space
and the thing 's still [bleeping] alive.

Rather than gathering plenty,
I'd rather need much less,
or, at least, not be so mindless
to hoard in great excess.

Smoke & Fire [Common Meter]

The spastic flame that dances fast:
too weird to match to drum.
The teary eye strays into trance
as if deadened by rum.

Where will the flame transport us now
that smoke has made us cry?
Where will the cracking sounds take us
as we turn to the sky?

The moon is out and casts a glow,
a glow of milky white.
And each dim point of starlight burns
trillions of times as bright
as that feeble, little campfire 
that rules what I now feel:
the heat, the smoke, the popping sounds
that now make my head reel.

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.