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  Selected Poems

Laughing Buddha/Weeping Sufi

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from LAUGHING BUDDHA / WEEPING SUFI

Written in 2003-2004
Published 2005 by The Ecstatic Exchange

An Orange Sunset Sits on a Blue Horizon

• Two Snorting Horses Dash Down a Hill

• Qne Whole Whallop Won’t Cure the Itch

• A Crystal Plum Hangs from an Opal Tree

 

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AN ORANGE SUNSET SITS ON A BLUE HORIZON

Laughing Buddha sits down with Weeping
Sufi and they sing a song together

that sets fire to the furniture and makes the
river run backwards for a moment while its

fish inside change scales and close their
eyes for the first time in their lives

Hands move across a chessboard but no pieces move
Hair flies up in a breeze and comes down exactly where it
began each strand in place again and
ready for the next revelation

Their eyes lock in an embrace that shivers the coat rack of its
coats that fall in a disarrayed heap with all their
arms out straight as if in surrender or in
imitation of the cross

Laughing Buddha stops laughing for a
moment long enough for Weeping Sufi to
wipe his eyes and the

flock of geese overhead to check their
inner compasses and redirect their flight home

11/7

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TWO SNORTING HORSES DASH DOWN A HILL

Laughing Buddha and Weeping Sufi agree it would be
unfair to write a series of poems in their
honor since no one could quite get at the
essence of either although as they’d be the

first to admit a flamingo might as it
sieves the water for food leaning its long
pink neck down and dipping its curved
beak into the murk back and forth endlessly back and forth
and Laughing Buddha agrees and Weeping Sufi disagrees
and vice versa until Weeping Sufi laughs a little and
Laughing Buddha grows grim then neutral then
goes far in to where no one can reach him
even the universe disappears

And Weeping Sufi stays seated on the cool riverbank and
floats down the green river in long watery
motions simultaneously and also
becomes the firefly-filled air making their
illuminated commas in it as it circulates past them into
an exponentially greater air

11/7

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ONE WHOLE WHALLOP WON’T CURE THE ITCH

They are never alone and in their company no one is
ever alone yet none seem as alone as they

in such moments as the covering of an opening with one hand
or the pouring of tea carefully into a glass
or the sudden uncovering of an opening with one hand while

slowly covering an opening with the other

and they can see in each other’s face each other’s
face in return

11/8

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A CRYSTAL PLUM HANGS FROM AN OPAL TREE

Laughing Buddha and Weeping Sufi sit looking at the sea

Laughing Buddha watches the heaving sea waves and
sometimes he counts them and sometimes he
doesn’t

Weeping Sufi puts a shell to his ear and smiles then
sheds a tear for all the living and the dead and all those
yet unborn

The ocean stands up on its two hind legs for a second
and looks deeply into the oceans of their four eyes and says

“I am not lame and I am not forever
but only one can encompass me in both your
philosophies”

and sits down again then lies back as before
rippling its huge belly

Laughing Buddha turns to look at Weeping Sufi and
Weeping Sufi turns to look at Laughing Buddha

and just then millions of white sand crabs decide to
move as one a few yards to the left and sink
back down again into the sand

and the late morning sunlight through a late morning
haze spotlights their backs for a second
like twinkling stars before they disappear
leaving no trace they ever even existed
behind

11/8

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