Hospitality for demons

Not accepting, not rejecting
says the Buddha as the demons
elect to live with him

underneath the tree.
He welcomes them, tells them
they are his honored guests;

they may stay. I want to know
how he does that, how he keeps
any facts of his pain

or anger to himself.
And at the end of the tale
how does he know this is the one

way to appease the final
and most terrible demon? He lays
his head in its lap, he tells it

“Eat me if you wish” while the sky
darkens or lightens and the tree
of history appears unmoved.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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