Poetry / July 2011 (Issue 14)

Dreams and Dust

by Russell C. Leong

for Fayao Sifu
Kuan Yin looks over the lake
Where 500 carp rush toward
The older man leaning on the balustrade

He picks up the banana peels
Someone else has left on the wet ground
Shreds them and tosses them to the fish
Next to him, a woman does the same.

Each lost in their separate dreams & dust:
The man, too old too become a monk now
The woman, too tied to the world to leave it.
Soon the man, the woman, the fish, the statue

(Rebuilt after incense and wind
had burnt down the one before)
Are covered by rain, lustrous as pearls
Which contain the morning light.

From the hill above the lake
Ven. Dhammadipa makes his way down
The wooden path that encircles the temple's drum
Yet alone, yet free.

23 May 2011
Chuang Yen Monastery, New York
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