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June 26, 2014

Neem Karoli Baba. ~ Bodhiron Johnson {Poem}

neemkaroli

 

This is not fancy, I know—
but listen carefully:
Something is there.

My friends have their houses,
and that’s okay—
but this is an eternal house.
Never needs painting,
roof never leaks….

Why did Neem Karoli Baba
lie there naked on a blanket
smiling like a walrus,
while Yellow Krishna Das took his photo?

What were his clothes and belongings?
What was his roof and awning?
What was his porch and railing?
If it wasn’t This, what was it?

That’s what this poem is like:
unadorned figures of speech,
not costumed by poetic diction,
plain speech and metaphor
wrapped only in a light skin,
no ego world to cloud the natural shining effulgence.

I myself have flopped out in a poem like this,
bare-bottomed, with a long-toothed grin,
nothing of myself but listener and scribe—
no erudition or wit,
mind at the service of the great creator.

As Sixth Zen Patriarch Hui-Neng said:
The bottom of a pail
is broken through.
Personal contents
have gone out.

 

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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo:  With Pemission from the NKB Ashram in Taos

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