Monday, October 30, 2023

Tibetan Slow Dance

Golden wheat and the heavy harvest moon—
an October calendar page from any given year.

Plentiful crops—the barley brew and feast—are always good,
the fullness of a breast, the ripe earth waiting to be kissed

before the long, long sleep as the sun dips low.
Let the good times roll with crawfish and beer,

the Zydeco swing, the accordion bellowing the Cajun two-step.
Let laughter linger for a night of measured misrule.

It is pirogue heaven to eat and drink,
but as night rolls into inevitable dawn,

let there be the reaping of cloistered silence.
The time for carnival under incandescent bulbs

passes with the whisper of a broom—vows taken—
sweeping away the carnal chaff.

Let the pebble drop into the pond but leave no ripples.
Let sparrows at dawn observe the monastic rule,

the heart beating with a rhythm heard only by the mute.
If there is a time for everything under heaven,

let silence hold lease as the mind withdraws.
Have we forgotten that the moon and wheat made no noise

as they spun gold on the canvas of deepening dusk
in order to become wise and, in the fullness of time, grow old?

~William Hammett

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