Saturday, June 28, 2014

Twenty-first Century Buddha

In this century of misquoted Buddha
his statues walk into Las Vegas bars
and stare at the bodies abandoning
their worldly disguises.

Award winning poets
admit spirituality into their poems
by pronouncing his name.

Smiling or sulking, in bronze or wood, Buddha
does not protest when devotees of Herman Hesse
transcend their consciousness
with forlorn fumes.

Always epitomized as good Buddha
leaves his son and wife, midlife
and embraces dhyan-cha'n-Zen,
preaches abandonment.

And ever-idolized Buddha (how ironic!)
finds his monks living under tyrants.
Too meek are lambs, are hunted and must be
by wolves who never turn Buddhists

In our world, the 'Americanized' Buddha
survives in University halls,
in tantric sex talks, in celebrity balls -
stupefied, satirized, stoned.


First appeared in Muse India, 2014