Nancy: Fourth and fifth graders: “Nothing ever happens to me,” “I have nothing to write about.” The first lesson? How to be quiet, watch, listen, care.
Coyote – Encounter
When he came out of the alders
I was invisible, because he had not dreamed me
yet; I was not waiting in his eye
or his mind’s eye, and the windless noon
gave him no news of me. I was invisible;
I will come no closer to being pure mind
than I was then, standing between the fence and the field,
and I let him go as he went,
quickstep, his tail bold.
Just as he reached the thicket, I called,
“Hai, Brother – dream of me tonight,”
and he went quickstep, surprised,
carrying me into the spruces while I walked home.
Alan: Skeeter was so tiny he was never expected to survive his first weeks. I wrote this a few months before his sudden death from tainted dog food at age eight. During his life, he owned me.
Did the Buddha ever experience,
the way my little dog does –
even now in his full maturity –
frantic random activity periods?
(Waking exuberant to a new dawn,
he dashes from one squeaky toy to the next,
chases his tail, jumps
on and off furniture,
careers madly through the house.)
Did he, sitting composed in meditation,
silent, unmoving, ever
find himself tearing through the multiverse,
shaking one world system and another
with his lion's roar, spinning
the roulette wheel of the Dharma
in pure, unrestrainable joy,
finally to collapse,
panting and grinning,
in the lap of some minor,
“Coyote – Encounter” first appeared in East of the Light (Stone Man Press and Slow Dancer Press, 1984)