Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Monkey Mind \ Six Ways To Know Water

Alan:  Once, long ago, a friend told me this story from some TV show he’d seen.  At least that’s what came into my own Monkey Mind years later when I wrote the poem.  

Monkey Mind

Monkey is magic!  Monkey is power!
Monkey defeats all the animals in his net of words.
Monkey is quick!  Monkey is grasping!
Monkey taunts the world and races to the end of the universe,
relieves himself at the pillars marking the edge of space and time.

Oh Monkey, look at Buddha’s hand,
urine trickling down His palm.
You’d give anything to be with Him for a moment
and He’s always here, taking your abuse.
Monkey Mind, stop and realize:
He is always here.
Sit still, hold your tongue.
Do not defile the guardian of all worlds.

Nancy:  This poem wrote itself during a 10-mile car trip while I listened to a CBC radio program on the search for extraterrestrial water.  The first line came unbidden, and soon the rest followed.

Six Ways To Know Water

Feel the gush of it between your legs;
after nine months the child must leave
water, learn air.

Stand in the gorge, stand between the stones
in the spill of the dam and feel the heat
of the sun, the cold of the deep water.

Wait for a small dark hole to form in the pond.
Push the canoe out across the ice, which will
break slowly into diamonds.  Strike the crystals
until you are floating, until the ice
acknowledges April.

Fly through it in a small plane made of
sticks and fabric and yellow paint, always
staying in the center of the rainbow.

Watch the cold sea boil into the colder
air; watch it build the peaks and valleys
of a nameless range; watch them tear loose
and drift inland, dragging their shadows
over the barrens.

Query the planets:  Water?  Ask the moons,
look into the stars.  Water?  Are we alone?

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