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Sometimes the great souls die too soon

for Rob Burbea

 

Here’s old man Shakyamuni, shaky now,
although, for sure,
unshackled
shuffling, shoved along, strapped up, he says,
like an old cart.
Thus come.
Thus gone.
Thus going, still.

But sometimes the great souls die too soon.

Maura soshin
Kannon of Toshoji
shattered
splintered
as busses collide
on a narrow road north.

Friedrich
madman of Turin
Dionysus against the Crucified
his dynamite dampened
by the refractory mare
in the Piazza Carignano.

Simone
who understood much more than something of
reversed thunder
a divine hunger artist
starved in solidarity.

Father Merton
on the bathroom floor
electric now for
paradise and
buddhafields —
charged
with dharmakaya.

Bahiya of the Bark-Cloth
impatient seeker of bliss before noon
who understood right then
where neither stars nor darkness shine
before mother cow
protects with her life
her only calf.

Etty of Auschwitz
who, in worldliness after all,
surveyed the empty plains of innermost being
and found there
love
with a spring
in her step
along the barbed wire
and left the camp
singing.

MLK
the dreamer
to whom
longevity
mattered much less than
the mountaintop.

And, of course, that sweet sweet fiery Nazarene
pinioned and
stretched
for daring to taste divinity.

And now, perhaps, you too, jazzman of Dharma
poet of perception
keeper of the mirrored gates
Hermes in red crocs
crosser of floods
prophet of pothos
shaman of the subtle body
alchemist of desire
soulmaker
ariya
shepherd on the razor’s edge of
real and
not.

I see a thousand Anandas
weeping on the doorframe
when your great light goes out.

So what else to say except
I bow
and
beg
that you remain
until samsara ends.

Andy Wimbush
Written July 2015 – January 2020

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