Thursday, November 16, 2017

Meditation in Absence

They say the hermit Anthony left his cave
because the neighbors always stopped by
to jeer at him, pester him with questions,
the kids throwing garbage and rock shards.

He dug a hole, trimmed a lodge pole
and tipped it upright, so he could sit
at a height away and alone,
a filthy, hungry man, stuck
beside an Egyptian road, trying to pray,

the narrow end of the tree top
like a soft cushion, his retreat
a tall wreath of nag champa,
swaying back from restlessness into
sleepiness, from agitation to apathy.

Still, the visitors come,
some with bread, some criticism,
wind and rain and unimpeded light
blinding him to what will be a graceful fall,
a grounding.