Sunday Poem #14: Buddhist Chronicles 4

BUDDHIST CHRONICLES

4

Prajapati

I loved Siddhartha as my own
my sister’s child, suckled
at my breast

but I saw him always
for what he was

a prince
shielded by garden walls.

He had never known death;
even the flowers in his orchards

were picked before their petals fell.
He never knew the stench of decay

or the rotting fruit
life vomits up.

Yasodhara was different;
she knew their happiness was fragile

a pale blue egg bravely held
in the hollow of her hand.

She fought for it

while he, who had never been denied
crushed it

in his fist.

And yet, he was tender,
an orchid sweetening this mountain air

his father’s prize

he could have turned out spoiled as a peacock
all those palaces built for him, all those

dancing girls with naked breasts and
rubies gleaming in their pubic hair.

But he had a purity of heart that would not let him
sink into these pleasures. He was very young

when his cousin shot a swan and claimed it
as his trophy. Siddhartha drew the arrow from the bird’s

bleeding breast, warmed her injured heart against his own,
nursed her till she healed
and flew away.

Still, he was a prince
raised to believe
the kingdom took wing from him.

Selfish in his way, as she in hers, he was all
clarity and air,
cool detachment;

she was earth, and water.

Asceticism.
Appetite.

And yet, they chose each other.

This is the secret that overflows
in her eyes.

I wasn’t surprised when he left,
though I feared for Yasodhara’s sanity.

………………………………………………….

As always, I’d love to hear your poems, thoughts, feelings and insights on Poetry Sunday. Poems are the call and response of our hearts. Let’s share them and celebrate the love that we are, together.

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