dear bhikkhu: a eulogy

what will you will to endure, bhikkhu?

what will you remember, twenty lake days
saffron robe to keep out the cold, keep out the stares
keep off the wax moths and blinding light?

watering hole no lodging, jeta’s grove like amber

did it too keep out the cold, keep out the stares
keep at bay the thronging, night winds and downing sun?
head above water, swimming internal sounds

what feeling, of quiet acceptance and hope?

morsel against the drowning, the hungering
the putting up, creeping creatureliness that doubts
fetter of views behind the banyan trees

what conveniences after that?

a nice long bath, then their soft rice and milk?
did the sintered glass beads hurl themselves upstream
like tiny grayling, as you would have liked?

which headlong direction, gulp and dip?

did the two fishermen reel you in and upward
gold-leafed statue in another bluing river
thousand miles away, east of thousand faces later?

what blessings surface?

what trouble you go to, to care for the dying
that, glad at heart, other bhikkhus
may too remember the rescue, this refraction

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