Sunday, January 29, 2023

TEN OLD MONK POEMS (104) 


WHY THE HELL

Why the hell should
anybody care, if
you don't,
the old monk
told the poet.

~

YOU TELL

You tell the truth
and they can't hear you,
the old monk noticed.

~

IF THE SKIN

If the skin is coming
off your fingers
you're praying too hard,
the old monk said.

~

SOMETIMES IT'S GOD

Sometimes it's God
and sometimes it's
the crickets that won't
shut up,
the old monk said.

~

YOU'RE NOT

You're not done
until you've been buried,
the old monk said.

~

GETTING i

Getting i to the right height
is half the writer's job,
the old monk told the poet.

~

SAY THE SAME

Say the same thing
often enough
you change it,
the old monk said.

~

IS IT GOD

Is it God attracting
the attractor attracting
the Great Attractor,
the old monk asked.

~

FIRST YOU TOUCH

First you touch the stars,
then you sleep,
the old monk said.

~

YOU CANNOT

You cannot care
because you have to,
the old monk said.

~



THREE OLD MONK POEMS (394) 


IT'S FRICTION

It's friction
which helps us
go

and lets us
stop,
the old monk said.

Friction.
It's not a
bad thing.

~

THAT WHICH FLIES

That which flies,
let it fly.

The stones can't
hold the wind,

the old monk said.

~

THE EARTH

The earth
already knows

its end
among the stars,

the old monk said.
No surprise.

~



Saturday, January 28, 2023

THREE OLD MONK POEMS (393) 


THAT THING

That thing you do
with your mouth,

you can turn it
into art,

the old monk
told the poet.

~

HOW MUCH

How much can you do
before you show
what you can't do,

the old monk asked
the student.

~

THAT / WHICH

That
which
is

is
which
that,

the old monk asked.

~



Friday, January 27, 2023

THREE OLD MONK POEMS (392) 


HOW FAR

How far do you travel
before you get one?

Twelve miles per poem?
Fifteen? Fifty mpp,

the old monk asked the poet.

~

IF THE WORD

If the word is
drift,

you let it
drift.

If it's
not,

you make it
stay,

the old monk
told the poet.

~

LAY YOURSELF

Lay yourself down
in the deep grass

if you want a
really good sleep,

the old monk said.

~



Thursday, January 26, 2023

THREE OLD MONK POEMS (391) 


IT TAKES ALL

It takes all night
for the stars to

convince themselves
of morning,

the old monk said.

~

IT WILL NEVER

It will never
be everything

you want it
to be. That's

why you start
with simple things,

the old monk said.

~

HOW BIG

How big
does a cat

have to be
to not be

a house cat?
As big as

a barn?
the old monk asked.

~



Tuesday, January 24, 2023

THREE OLD MONK POEMS (390) 


IF YOU WANT

If you want to
know what's coming,

listen to the wind,
which cannot lie,

the old monk said.

~

THESE THINGS

These things
I speak of

mean nothing
to you

if you have
no river,

no mountain,
no wind,

no pines,
no moonlight,

the old monk said.

~

THAT CAT

That cat?
Don't pet it

if you need
your arm,

the old monk said.

~



Monday, January 23, 2023

THREE OLD MONK POEMS (389) 


THE GRASS

The grass bends
as if it loves

knowing the wind,
the old monk said.

~

THE SILENCE

The silence I practice
is practice for

the great silence,
the old monk says.

~

HOW MANY TIMES

How many times
do two words go

bump-bump
before it means

something,
the old monk asked.

~



Sunday, January 22, 2023

TEN OLD MONK POEMS (103) 


YOU WANT THEM

You want them to go sideways and they don't --
that's how we end up in situations like this,
the old monk admitted.

~

DOING WHAT

Doing what you've
done you don't have
to go all the way back
to the beginning,
the old monk told
his oldest novice.

~

IT IS TIME

It is time which
measures the size
of the universe,
the old monk told
the scientists.

~

IN THE DESERT

In the desert
you may have to drink
the camel's blood,
the old monk told
his students.
It's like drinking
the ocean.

~

YOU DON'T

You don't haul salt
across the Sahara
because you want to,
the old monk said.

~

NOT ALL

Not all that is known
is knowable
unless you've read
all the poetry,
the old monk said.

~

DON'T HIDE

Don't hide where the microphone is,
the old monk said.

~

NO ONE WANTS

No one wants the coat
with the button off,
the old monk said,
but everybody
wants to be warm.

~

MONEY IS

Money is no good
on the mountain,
that's why,
the old monk said.
That, and I'm
allergic to it.

~

DUTY IS

Duty is as much as you have to,
the old monk said.

~


THREE OLD MONK POEMS (388) 


WHO KNOWS

Who knows when
the old monk is done?

Just because
he isn't talking

doesn't mean
he's finished.

~

IF I HAD

If I had a better memory,
where did I put it,
the old monk wondered.

~

AT SUNRISE

At sunrise
I practice

walking toward
the light,

the old monk said.

~



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