Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Zen the Hard Way: A Drama in One Act

Master, I have swept
last night’s snow from the step.
It is now safe for you
to pass.

           And the snow in the road?
           Will you sweep that as well?

                      Rises. Starts toward door.

           Master! Surely, you are not going out.

Oh? It seems you’ve given me little choice.
Our coats. We’ve a rough journey ahead.

                      I only meant ...

           I know what you meant.
           Hence, our journey.

                      And if we should die along the way?

If? Is that not the reason for our going?

                      Well, I, for one ...

           You, for one — such impertinence
           from a tiny snowflake! Can you imagine
           what would happen if all the snowflakes

                      Yes. A blizzard.
                      Here is your coat, then.

           Opens door.

Brrr! I’ve reconsidered. I’m old, not crazy.

                      But what of our journey?

           Patience, my son. You see,
           at least we’ve made a beginning.

                      Resumes his seat. Falls asleep.

Student also sits, begins writing in journal.

           “Today, I tricked him again.”

Looks up, smiles, unaware he is melting.

(first publication)

“Zen the Hard Way: A Drama in One Act” added to Poems, Slightly Used.

A new haiku, “Solstice,” added to Songs and Letters.


S_Allen said...

Woah - a tricky ending.

Wonderful poem - thanks I enjoyed it.

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Scott. I think all the snow and ice we’ve been having lately has had an effect on me.

brian a j salchert said...

You can be
the wise man
who changed his mind.

William Michaelian said...

I appreciate that because it assumes I have a mind to change.