AND the serpent rose
And hovered above his head
So that the rain
Not disrupt his peace
Nor the water
Dampen his spirit.
Buddha sat motionless
And let the world outside
Dissipate into a veil
Of timelessness and shadow.
And all cares of the world,
The struggles, the endless pursuits
Of material comfort,
The strain of labor,
The pain of human suffering
Came to be seen
As their true emanations.
The natural byproduct
Of the unexamined life.
And the Bodhi Tree remains
To remind us
What Buddha has left us.
And the Buddha is alive
In the branches and the leaves
And the roots that reach forever into the soil.
A bag of holes, a monument
of empty hours we carry to the grave.
That morning drive to work,
the man on the street corner selling oranges
the streetlamps going dim to dark,
we recall nothing.
Our days are highlighted
by who or what is served.
When we arrive safely to our destinations,
what is shared and remembered over cocktails
and dinner conversations
seems somehow significant enough
to override all those lost hours.
And who knows,
perhaps the man on the street corner
exists or doesn’t exist, an echo in time
reflected timeless in your rearview mirror.
Photo & Poem by
For R.H. Deutsch
“sic itur ad astra”
The dog that leaves me behind
as a tail (wags)—the chorus girls,
all the great books & the stinking sea—
never notes the azaleas in bloom
nor differentiates the scent of winter from spring.
Life, friends, is boring, is an animal ache
we wish to bury like a bone.
(Henry grows a beard and gets himself
some medals & some grants).
We drink and dance, and dance and drink
our shadow-show as valid as any dog or cat
though accepting none of it as woman or man.
And all the great words of the masters
& all the gin-and-tonics of all the happy pubs
can ever alter that one dull and inevitable fact:
Henry never gonna know the whys nor the wherefores.
—Mr. Bones, no one ever does.