Old man Monk sitting under the Buddha tree.
Silent, quiet and still, calm as could be.
The grasses folded, the wind blew,
Time stands still to those
who hear the song
But then a tremor, a sound, a wave in the air
brought Old Man Monk’s thoughts to bare.
Thin, focused, rootless and free,
Old man shifted his weight
and opened an eye
A rustle in the weeds, a thought on the breeze,
A gasp, a groan, a giggle, a stifled sneeze.
What is this thing that comes this way?
Any manner of man or beast,
Or is it something visiting from the realms ethereal?
A pernicious troll on a stroll, looking for a meal.
A dragon. Griffon. Perhaps a faerie?
Or an ogre that cannot
A sharp-eared fox suddenly emerged from the brush,
Sporting peering eyes, a tail that was lush.
Old Man Monk cracked a smile
“Dear Friend, It has
been a while.”
But a fox is a fox and a conversation with them quite rare,
and it walked off, tail twitching, with very little care
about monks or trees, or songs on the air.
Its only thought to catch a hare,
for dinner, unaware.
His mind was silent again, but the air still quite stiff
When Old Man Monk stopped meditating to sniff
and a whiff of smoke began to grow
Which led the old man to gasp
“Oh Dear. Oh no”
From the behind a burning brush emerged a fiery mass!
All smoke and scowls, consternation and gas.
This demon is somewhat of a crumongeon
But luckily that sword is used
to cut souls and
Ol’ snaggle tooth growled and put up quite a front,
popped a squat with grumble and a grunt.
With a jingle and a jangle,
a bounce and a flail,
that big ol’ demon
almost sat on a quail.
Old man Monk, rolled his eyes and slapped his knee
Still quite happy for some com-pa-nee.
But the company was not the issue,
He only wished that
demon brought a tissue.
Smelly and loud, he is, and coarse and robust
Overly serious, constantly kicking up dust
But he sat happily as Mu floating by
mindfully chewing on
Eventually the demon stood up, knees knocked and walked away
Leaving a burnt mass where grasses once swayed
Left with out so much as a nod or a smile,
Seemingly unaware of Old Man Monk
the whole while.
Alone again, the monk sat with his thoughts to ponder.
When suddenly the sky was ripped usunder.
Lightning! Thunder! The clashing! The din!
when, just then, fell two beings of
Asuras they were, No doubt, of a some far-off realm
dropped down to earth with sword and helm.
Ground shakes and echos deafening,
Old Man Monk hunkered
down and began
The song of leaves, of tree, of roots and blooms and spring.
A song of past, present, and what the next day will bring.
The silent song stopped the ground’s deep shudder
Every note causing each battling
titan’s heart to flutter.
Smiling inwardly, sighing soflty and breathing deep,
Giant bodies sank to the ground and did sleep.
As Old Man Monk sang the tune
wiped his brow and
fell in a swoon.
A fox, a demon and two Titans in deep combat!
All under this Buddha tree by which he sat.
The fox now gone, and demon away
and two titans that sleep
finally held at bay.
What more could happen today! The Old Monk thought
Thinking he got more trouble than he ought.
When a groan and chill bit the air,
He froze in his tracks.
Turn? He did not dare.
From the mossy ground where the titans did sleep,
Rose a gaggle. A groaning, shambling heap.
Necks long. Necks thin, stomach large and gross
Without turning around he knew…
Oh dear me…Hungry Ghosts.
His song long gone, his protector far away,
how does one keep such horror at bay?
Laying his hand down, a moment he lingered
and then swiftly, deftly, with a knife
offered up his own finger.
These ghosts, these ghouls, these spirits forlorn,
these beings from a land yet not to be born.
Gazed at the finger lopped from his fist.
so small, so slight, so kind, this gift.
With a laugh and a thought
dispersed in a fine mist.
Exhausted, confused, alone and bleeding but alive still
Old Man Monk quietly sat back down on the hill.
Hands shaking, breath only in a gasp
He furtively struggled with
what he could not grasp.
Suddenly above a bright, clear light shined upon him
Compared to his day you would think this not grim
But while the glare of a Deva offers no ire
It burns with a heat even hotter
than a demon’s hellfire.
The monk cried and he yelled, he thrashed and burned
and the Deva, put out, away from him turned
She left in a huff, in a fury of hair, a bit snooty…
to seek out people that could
appreciate her beauty
Chilled to the bone and burnt to a crisp
tired, aching from newly mangled wrist
Our friend, the monk, pulled himself up once more
below the Buddha tree, despite being so sore.
Wondering why and how and for what reason this all happened
his life was so boring, nothing to get mouths a-flappin’
Then it dawned to him and he leapt with a thrill
When he realized that the tree on the hill,
the devas, the ghosts getting their fill.
the giants, his finger, the mind that won’t stand still.
Angry Demon with sword, Fox with it’s kill
Were. All. Empty. The same! Nothing and no more.
All rain on the sill when Mu knocks on the door.
So Old Man Monk continued sitting under the Buddha tree.
Silent, quiet and still, smiled as big as could be.
The grass’s chant, the wind’s sigh,
Time stands still to those
who hear the song
And die he did, that monk. It’s sad and it’s true…
Don’t worry. Don’t cry. There wasn’t much you could do
With no spirit to soar, no soul, no heavenly dew…
That monk just fell over and sank deep into…