The Buddha Is Sleeping

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The dog found him in the weeds filthy,
flea-infested, eyes crusted shut, clearly
taking mortification of the flesh a little too
far in this lifetime, he arrived with nothing
but total faith in our reluctant compassion.

He has left us precious gifts, a flightless
bird, some foolish shrews, a greedy
mouse or two, reminders of our brevity
in days, the suffering that comes unbidden
early in the morning to sacrifice’s back door.

Sometime today, I locked him in the closet
accidentally, and he is found waiting like the lotus,
no recrimination, no anger, only enlightenment
from darkness, as sure of his dharma as he knows
he is my teacher, he is the Buddha.

NaPoWriMo #18

I’m writing a poem every day in April as part of NaPoWriMo’s celebration of National Poetry Month. Won’t you join me in poetry?

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6 thoughts on “The Buddha Is Sleeping

  1. Please don’t tell him: I laughed when I read you’d accidentally locked him in the closet. And I can so easily imagine him becoming one with the darkness and thereby enlightened (and no doubt wondering when his humans will become so). This is a great biography.

    “Total faith in our reluctant compassion” and “the suffering that comes unbidden early in the morning to sacrifice’s back door” are very moving commentaries. There is so much in this that is very reflective and serious, yet that last stanza changes it all. Perhaps that’s what having a cat is about.

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