Poem: Odd Zen

Buddah in the garden

Odd Zen

It is an odd kind of zen I live in,
surrounded by weeds and vines,
an overgrown jungle of noise and lies,
stalkers in the grass hid behind nicknames and titles,
raucous and rude and too eager to shuffle the cards,
to play shell games, complete with patter
and distraction,
full of claims of admiration, but eager to break it,
as if there was a threat each time focus is found,
each episode of peace a suspicious thing,
like an artist in the fifties, too full of life misunderstood.

But still, I persist, the silent fool
who wants nothing more than to be left to the silence
now and again, to live in a place without noise and anger
and folly and waste and deflection from all the things
that hold importance,
that allow your broken soul to heal and grow strong.

Perhaps that is the fear, that the quiet ones,
the thoughtful ones, the ones blessed so clearly
in the mount’s sermon, might, in their silence,
make sense.

About this poem

I had trouble meditating today. Too much noise. Outside. Upstairs. Most of all in my head, rattling around the past few months without relenting.

The “mount’s sermon” refers to the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. A radical piece of preaching then and a radical piece of preaching now.

It’s funny. When I people ask me what I do, and I say “I am a part-time preacher.” they treat me one way. WHen I tell them I am a poet, writer, and artist, they treat me another. Each in suspect in their own way.

And from all that drivel, this poem.

The picture was taken in Provincetown, at the end of Cape Cod.



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