Buddha’s Not Talking



Buddha’s Not Talking


He looks out from the shelf while I consider
manure, sharp knives and the hagfish’s second
heart, or whether odors differ in texture when a dog

retraces his steps through the park, and do they really
lose themselves or just quickly shed their pasts,
forever moving towards now. Sometimes I say hello,

but truthfully we seldom interact, unless I bump his
shoulder when retrieving one of the books leaning
against him, and then it’s only a quick “sorry” on my

part, and a stare on his, perhaps a slight nod if
I’ve not yet had coffee. I fear I’ll never grasp
the difference in having and being, that my true

nature has splattered on a trail and the dogs will
sniff it and lift their legs in acknowledgment,
or perhaps acceptance of the infinite, with wisdom

far beyond my reach, before moving on to disquisitions
about soil and fragrance and the need to justify art
with decimal points. Yesterday I roasted chicken, moved

books, sipped ale. Today I’ll sweep, discard papers and
wonder if I’ll become what I think, whether reincarnation
will be cruel or kind. Either way, Buddha’s not talking.


* * *

“Buddha’s Not Talking” first appeared in July 2017 at Blue Bonnet Review.
With gratitude to editor Cristina Del Canto for taking this piece.

10 thoughts on “Buddha’s Not Talking

  1. Dog sense and Buddha sense make for a fascinating mingle … I, too, exchange very few words with the Buddha here (in the front yard) … somehow standing before him feels sufficient, no words needed. Certainly none coming my direction!
    About reincarnation, I have thoughts I cannot trace to any specific teacher/teaching … sense that the human life I’m having now is likely not my first nor my last, that maybe not all my lives have-been/will-be human, but that each serves some purpose greater than itself and thereby is “kind” in perspective of that purpose but might well feel “cruel” from the embodied perspective.
    Reading poetry like this might be conditioning for the yet-to-come … gets my gears spinning, for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know whether I’ve been here before or will return, but my present existence seems to be enough. Buddha has a new job these days – he’s on top of a bookcase, holding a digital tv antenna. It seems ironic but somehow appropriate.

      Liked by 1 person

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