I am re-posting previous work during March.
Since 2014, I’ve published 30 original poems
for National Poetry Writing Month every April.
You can read more by clicking the NaPoWriMo widgets to the right ▶
Reply to a Bumpersticker
the number of sentient beings being great, evil karma powerful, obscurations dense,
propensities o too long standing, the Wheel of Ignorance and Illusion
becometh neither exhausted nor accelerated.
Free Tibet your sticker tells me . . .
Yes, I think, perhaps I should—
and the noble thought compels me,
Will their freedom help my Karma?
Upgrade my reincarnation?
(Soul who could not dare to harm a
fly . . . much less a Buddhist nation.)
Not to justify aggression
by the ever-brutal Commies,
let us grant no glib concession
to the Maoists or their mommies.
Slogans echo in the void,
shining in bardos of the dead;
stopped by the light, I am annoyed
impatient for the change from red.
A bumper crop of human woe
beams forth a mandate to my brain
while red Dakinis circle slow
in Buddhist hells of karmic pain.
The eastern concepts here diverge
and bow before brutality.
They make this driver long to merge
Then I glimpse a monkish fellow
swathed in saffron, calmly seated.
His, the cloud-borne sage’s pillow;
mine the traffic; stalled, defeated.
In his gaze of stern displeasure
I perceive the orient stars
calculating man’s mismeasure
trapped, exhausted, among the cars.
Flanked by Spirits wreathed in fire
he extends an accusing hand:
Western slave of base desire:
come and liberate my land !
I meditate before the stop light:
am I ready for the task ?
Should I just refuse it outright
Can’t it be someone else ? I ask.
Must I free this mountain nation
from the Buddha, demons and Reds?
Shall your sticker’s declaration
shatter the yoke and raise their heads ?
Somebody ought to free Tibet,
and heed this Himalayan cry.
Maybe we should get upset . . .
The red light changes. Cars pass by,
predestined for benign events
and unconcerned for persecution;
oblivious to dissidents