Entering the Monastery

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“Entering the Monastery, We Give Up Nothing”

Just because the dust is full of gods

and what red and green have in common can’t be put into words,

doesn’t mean you should stop opening the newspaper

or jogging backwards every Wednesday. Just because

when asked who we are, we say who we were,

and the universe is really a small delicatessen,

is no reason to run off to Bristol, Connecticut

with a chip on your shoulder. You have a duty

to the unchopped liver, the unmade bed, the bookshelves

all out of order—a duty

you must fulfill with grace and courtesy

and great daily attention to the sacredness of things.

So just because

they found jewels in the ashes of that one proclaimed to be a buddha

doesn’t mean you shall not march against the war,

or teach what little you know to those who know too much,

and curse in midtown traffic, wondering

why the light is always changing right before your eyes.

-Dick Allen

Present Vanishing 

Categories: Poems & PhotosTags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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