The Buddhist Teachings Seen from an Open-Air Café

Foggy Himalayas in the distance
even the teachings are empty
and more-so the poundings
administered by men wielding
sledgehammers to the brick building
concrete roof disappearing beneath their feet
so many more stories to revise
plucked fowl rotting on the meat stall counter
space parts as hawks gracefully bank their turns
the stupa’s stream of prayer flags in piles
what will the wind do?
not a single word says
one should ignore the teachings
still on sunny days
beggars continue their begging
wealthy people pay for cut flowers
I urge the foraging chickens to
run away run away

Michael G. Smith, Bozeman, MT, is a chemist. His poetry has been published in many literary journals. His books include No Small Things and Flip Flop, a collection of haiku co-written with Miriam Sagan. He volunteers at the local food bank and at a school in Kathmandu, Nepal.

See more of his work in 11.1 and 11.1 and 10.2 and and 9.2 and 9.2

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