Poem of the Month, July 2017: Feathered Friends

FEATHERED FRIENDS

“Do you understand nembutsu?”
I asked the tree.
“Yes I do,” it said.

Pay no attention
to other people’s behaviour.
Focus on your own.

At peace with the world,
a little cluster of ducks
nestles in the grass.

They must have heard me!
I watch them slowly waddle
in my direction.

All is nembutsu.
Three lads playing with a ball
are bodhisattvas.

A park is a place
you forget those that hate you
and return to life.

Here on this green bench
I’m anything but alone.
Sunshine on the page.

Am I that blackbird
whistling its glorious song
with angelic wings?

Sing, and be heard
by the four walls of your garden,
as Voltaire remarked.

Botanieken Hof, 26 June ’17.