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POEM: Chasing Answers To Questions Unknown

Chasing Answers To Questions Unknown

From the moment Father Edgar walked into the room,
I knew I wanted to be a monk.

When we changed teams, moving across the street
to the Methodists, I decided to become a minister instead.

At 15, newly into prog rock and Depeche Mode,
I discovered it was possible to not believe in God.

I flew 10,000 miles to clap hands and bow,
to ring bells and make mochi and stare up at statues.

For Christmas in 1997, Jen bought me a book
about the Lotus Sutra. It was over my head.

Three years later I was in our spare room, incense
burning on the credenza, legs folded, hands in a mudra.

Over the next two decades I went back to the cushion
time after time, trying to quiet the monkeys.

Eventually I threw in the towel, but somebody threw it back.
After all, a frood has to know where their towel is.

/ / /

22 August 2023
Charlottesville VA

Thanks to S for the title.

This is poem 32 in a series called 50 Days Till 50 Years. I’m writing a poem a day between now and my 50th birthday. I’m going to try to focus on memories of my past, and the people who inhabited it.

Published in 50 Days Till 50 Years Buddhism Japan My poems Poetry Religion


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