May 2008 Poem of the Month: "Lunch with the Dalai Lama"

Posted by on 05.05.08 | 3 Comments
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Dalai Lama

I just love this poem! I love that it starts with a dream and the way the dream-story unfolds. The poet artfully paints images, with just the right amount of detail, that leap off the page. All of my senses are engaged, and so the poem feels alive for me. I feel that sweet hush of shared energy amidst the hustle-bustle of the crowded cafeteria at lunch-time. Sighing lightly, I remember my own song of hope and wake-fullness of the basic goodness we each embody. I want to make a collage of one “brilliant hand” reaching out to touch a “trembling hand.” So, I think I’ll just go ahead and do that, and leave you to your own experience of this delightful poem! With a deep bow of gratitude to poet, Therese Becker, and all of you reading this!

Peace and Joy,

Krayna

Here, without further to-do is “Lunch with the Dalai Lama”

In a dream he is standing in line

in a busy high school cafeteria

blending in, (even with his shaved head,

prayer beads, red robe and sandals)

waiting as if he were just another student.

When he asks me to have lunch with him,

I excitedly invite everyone else to join us,

but we are invisible inside the hungry crowd

rushing to their place in the food line,

and so we sit alone at a long wooden table

where he proposes no mantra, no meditation or prayer;

instead, he reaches inside his robe and brings out

an old radio which he places on the table

as if it were the cafeteria’s main selection of the day.

As he shows me how to work the dials,

I feel like a child just beginning to walk

or a bird about to sing its first song.

As he works the dials, he looks toward me

to be sure I’m paying attention.

His hands appear brilliant as the sun,

his eyes like water in a still pond

that holds an endless wave of being

transmitted and received.

He reaches out, holds

my trembling hand, places it

so gently on the radio’s dials

where I begin to feel the song inside

of everyone awakening, a song of hope

I’ve always known, but yet forgotten,

that is now

right here as I awake

inside the middle of the night singing.

- Therese Becker

published in Oberon, 2007

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