With fists, with words, with kindness
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At first it isn’t so bad — a taste of ecstasy,
the world covered in honey. Even snails
scrawl the names of buddhas with their silvery trails.
But then, too much. Pears become unbearable,
wet white flesh so tender one could perish
contemplating the first taste.
Meditation becomes oddly redundant,
attention now like water, absorbed in tree root,
plumbing; even fire hydrants with their red
stubby arms become mandalas, and, worse,
the police siren revving its wail behind
my slow-moving car sounds like a mantra.
Even my wife’s complaints about me finally
sound true. I just bow. Kiss her slender hands.
Carry the garbage outside, but, damn! The moon!
A smile came to my face when I saw the title of Dane Cervine’s poem in the March 2010 issue: “Enlightenment Is a Bitch.” I recalled when I had just completed my yoga-teacher training at Kripalu yoga center in Lenox, Massachusetts. We graduated two weeks before Christmas, and before we were sent off to bring serenity to the world, a guest teacher bestowed some words of wisdom upon us: “If you think you are enlightened, go home for the holidays.”