Christmas Eve Afternoon

for Kelli Parrish

I found you gone when I arrived

The grey Buddha in your garden covered with black dirt
Made me remember

When he attained enlightenment
Buddha touched the earth declaring, “By this sign I bear witness.”

In a Buddha’s eyes
All things are pure

Still tradition has a power and Tibetan traditions states

A Buddha must be elevated
Above the ground.

I turned a white flower pot over, set Buddha on top
Surrounded him with bougainvillia, offered for luck

The nickel I found
On your front step

Then in the high noon Christmas sun I waited
While at my feet, a fly feasted on the feces of a dog…

A cat…. perhaps a raccoon?
And it occurred to me

One minute, one discovery after another
Buddha and Jesus wanted the same for all: truth freedom peace

And their greatest gift, a mind of love, even for a fly.


Dharma Fire

Raga by Shankar