1st: I wrote this in college, during the Myanmar Buddhist Monk protest. Was the 1st thing I thought of when I read Stu McPherson's post!
Bhikkus clothed in red robes and sandals
march peacefully through the streets,
like blood flowing through veins,
from sunup to sundown with overturned
alms bowls: their only source for food
reversed in remonstration.
They chant an old Buddhist mantra:
Let everyone be free from harm.
Let everyone be free from anger.
Let everyone be free from hardship.
I stand in the middle of the Square
in my hometown. People are walking
all around, but hardly anyone looks at me.
I take an American flag out of my backpack,
unfurl it, light my lighter,
and slowly move the flame towards the flag.
The only thing I can hear is Anti-Flag
streaming though my headphones.
People line the streets as the monks continue their march.
The police stand in the background,
guns drawn, waiting to take them down.
When given the order the police open fire into the crowd.
Monks and laymen scatter, but some fall.
Blood flies through the air. Children, women,
men all scream, cry in horror.
My flag is burning, the fire warms my right hand,
and I smile, satisfied.
I look around at the people staring at me.
All I can hear is
They want to tiptoe, walk around it
Wave the flag and cowardly salute!
I see a young girl in a purple coat
who looks like the six year old version of me,
holding her mother’s hand.
They are both still, mouths open
as I desecrate their flag.
All I feel is the power I have,
like the power I feel when wielding my pistol
and gunning down plastic targets
at the shooting range on the outskirts of town.
The city is silent,
the street empty, bare,
but the remnants of the carnage remain.
Blood stains the street, sidewalk, buildings,
everything. A sandal lies in the middle of the street,
covered by a splash of blood.
Streaks of red lead to various buildings
as victims bleed for peace.
2nd: Wrote right around Easter soon after I started practicing Buddhism.
Jesus Looks Down On Me
My parents have a Catholic cross
hanging in their hallway with palm leaves behind it.
Ever time I walk down the hall
I still imagine Jesus looking down on me,
mad because of something I had done;
when I was younger, he was upset
because I hit my brother
or stole a candy cane from the Christmas tree.
Now he’s mad
because I’ve replaced St. Brigid’s Cross
with the statue of the Buddha on my dresser.,
and I spent last Christmas morning meditating
instead of at church.
Yesterday I looked Jesus in the eye
and whispered, Nothing is permanent,
not even you.
3rd: I've Always wanted to write a poem about these damn billboards!!
Jesus is Everywhere
Jesus Christ is our lord and savior.
It’s right here in this book,
yes, I’m talkin’ about the Bible…
I quickly change the station.
Although I’m only doing 75, okay 85,
a sign slowly creeps up on me:
I’m watching you—God
He’s watching me rock out to the Ramones in my car?
That’s creepy, even for God.
I push down harder on the gas pedal.
I pass a green sign stating
JESUS in bright white letters
and beat my head against the steering wheel.
Some one thought Jesus would like
to have his name plastered to a sign
and stuck in the middle of nowhere?
And only three billboards away,
just in case I missed the message:
CH_ _CH. What’s missing?
Now this is just too much.
I pull my car to the side of the highway,
grab the duffle bag full of spray paint,
and proceed to scale the billboard.
The first thing I do is fill in the blanks with the obvious: UR;
then I create my own answer: Buddha.
I drive off, smirking to myself.