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Category: Buddhism

POEM: redwoods

redwoods

as high as a football field is long
unlike the field they have no goal
a perfect example of practice

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10 February 2021
Lady Bird Johnson Grove
Humboldt County, CA

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haiku: 11 December 2020

warm December day;
a puff of white ash
as I seal the incense jar

/ / /

Jason Crane
11 December 2020
State College PA

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POEM: the dharma according to Norman

the dharma according to Norman

4:14 a.m.
he jumps on my ribs as
I sleep on my side
I get up to pee, then
lie on my back
he settles on my chest

5:30 a.m.
this time he meows &
gently bumps my nose
we get up, trying not to wake Owen
I put on shorts & a t-shirt
beside the kitchen table, then
feed Norman

6:10 a.m.
three bells ring
I bow as I finish zazen
turn to find him sleeping
on the recliner behind me
he yowls softly as I scratch his tummy

/ / /

Jason Crane
5 August 2020
Tucson, AZ

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POEM: Prayer

Prayer

Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva,
I’m putting you in this poem
to sound more like Allen Ginsberg.

Kannon Bodhisattva,
I just cleaned the toilet
then looked at myself in the mirror.

Jizo Bodhisattva,
protector of travelers & children,
I am a wandering boy putting distance
between himself & his past.

I worry less about the
ten thousand things
than I used to,
but let’s not kid ourselves.

/ / /

Jason Crane
30 May 2020
Tucson, AZ

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POEM: The still small voice

The still small voice
(for Fr. Edgar Holden)

A lotus tattoo & a statue of the Buddha;
I turn halfway to look down the road behind me.
Flinching from the name of God like a slapped child,
I yearn for the gentle mysticism of Merton,
for a life among flagstones & evensong.
There are burrs on my clothing & scratches on my skin
from running through fields to evade my pursuers.
At night I hear the still small voice:
“How’re you going to make your way in the world
when you weren’t cut out for working?”
Twenty years ago I took a monk to a quiet spot
in the Sonoran Desert, left him there with his brothers
to bathe in the sunset & silence. I drove back to town
wondering whether I should have stayed there with them.

/ / /

Jason Crane
2 April 2020
Tucson, AZ

Note: The two lines in quotation marks are from Warren Zevon’s song “The French Inhaler.”

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