Saturday, November 8, 2014

Oscar in Samsara

I heard the words of the Buddha
They were about skandhas, sense-impressions
Sense-impressions – piles of five, for the five senses, heaps

That was the flash of enlightenment
I heard the Buddha laugh

Those heaps, impermanent and valueless,
Were trash
I love trash

Nothing stays the same
Nothing is made of itself
The trash lies in piles, in the way
Kick it, and the foot
That kicks is trash

That is the truth
Intended to make us happy
To give up desire, attachment to trash
That is the trash of truth

Everything dirty, growing, in spots
Never to be seen again
The faces that I love
Temporary, uncaptureable
Even the monuments grow dingy
Even the innermost thoughts
The world, and its images
A giant garbage can

Walking along the railroad tracks
I saw them, and turned to the four year old
Walking with me
Look, rusty bolts!
And fasteners to turn on them
We brought them home
They became part of us
Polished, less rusty by many turnings
Finally put away
When trash passes, there is suffering
The bolts, did they last?
They were like what we ate

A picture is the trash of a moment
Snapped off
Poems are word-trash
When words go, they will go too
Memories, feelings
Rot away, change color, get dusty

The first kiss that mattered
We were surrounded by paper
Bales and bags of it
Piled, in the trailer where we worked, recycling it
Amidst all the trash that we moved
The work, the kiss, the life
The four year old, later
The bolts and the fasteners
All from trash
A gift from my mother the day I was born
The perception of it
Small stones, colors
Are picked up, rejoiced
The pink and green and brown
And stubborn rockiness of them
And saved, and lost
And suffered, with each loss
The pattern passed on
To the recycling center
The bags and bales and heaps

Buddha, there is a problem
It is everywhere
Everything, there are no boundaries
Within the garbage can
No eye to see it
But the momentary notice
Of each person, pattern, hope
Though it leads to mourning
Trash slipping away from trash
Though nothing can be kept
That is where I'm stuck
Particular, attached
To these bits of it
In all its stubborn grime
I love it because it's trash

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